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August 11, 2018

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Eight watchtowers, 31 crescent posts to protect Peshawar from attacks

Eight watchtowers, 31 crescent posts to protect Peshawar from attacks

PESHAWAR: Twenty bomb-proof crescent posts built on three sides of the provincial capital have been made functional to secure it from an attack while 70 percent construction work has been completed on eight watchtowers in the funnel area of the airport.

The watchtowers were proposed after at least two past attacks on the airplanes flying low while landing at the Bacha Khan International Airport. In one such attack in June 2014, a female passenger was killed while two crewmembers were wounded when suspected militants fired at the plane from the ground.

“Around 75 percent construction work has been completed on two watchtowers in Gulbahara and Bazidkhel villages in the limits of the Badaber police station and another one in Pishtakhara Payan. Besides, 70 percent work has been done on three other towers at Mashokhel, Sulemankhel and Tehkal Payan,” Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Qazi Jamilur Rehman told The News.

He said that around 65 percent work has been completed on a tower to secure the funnel area at Batatal Sarband while work will be started soon on another one at Palosai where land has been acquired already.

The KP Police had also raised a special force for the funnel area to thwart any mid-air attack on airplanes as well as the airport.

On the other hand, 20 crescent posts constructed on the edge of Peshawar have been handed over to the police to monitor suspicious movements and thwart any terrorist attack on the provincial capital.

“We have already manned 20 crescent posts after the buildings were handed over to the force. These bomb-proof structures were constructed on the boundary with the erstwhile tribal areas to thwart any terrorist attack on Peshawar from outside as was the case in the past,” said Qazi Jamil.

The new buildings have enough space for offices, lock-up, barrack and other purposes. Heavy machineguns are installed on the rooftop of the buildings wherefrom one can keep an eye on the boundaries of Peshawar with Khyber, Mohmand and Darra Adamkhel.

These posts until recently were housed in dilapidated rented buildings with a few policemen deployed there. Most of the posts in Sarband, Matani and Badaber came under frequent militant attacks from the erstwhile Khyber Agency, Mohmand Agency and Darra Adamkhel, resulting in the death of many policemen and injuries to several others.

In one such attack on a post in Matani, the then Superintendent of Police (SP) Rural was martyred along with six others in 2012. Deployment at these vulnerable posts used to be the worst nightmare of a policeman in those difficult years.

“The newly constructed posts have double RCC walls that can counter any bomb or rocket attack. The buildings can accommodate up to 100 or even more policemen at the time of need,” said Qazi Jamil.

The crescent posts are categorised as category A+, category A and category B. The category A+ posts are constructed on 12,000 square feet area while category A was built on 8,000 square feet and category B on 6,000 square feet.

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