The mujahedin are striking back against Pakistani attempts to neutralize them. Note their piety: they had their victims recite Qur’anic verses spoken before death, before they fired. From AP, with thanks to Doug and LGF:
At least 10 gunmen stormed into a police station in the southern Pakistan city of Karachi on Sunday, killing five policemen and wounding one after demanding the officers recite Islamic verses, police said.
The attackers escaped by car after the dawn shoot-out about five km (three miles) from the international airport in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and the scene of frequent religious violence. Police said one of the gunmen may have died.
The assault, one of the boldest on Karachi’s police in recent years, comes as tension is running high following a deadly raid by thousands of Pakistani troops on 400 to 500 suspected al Qaeda and other Islamist fighters last month.
The wounded policeman, Hasan Jatoi, told Reuters the clean-shaven assailants shot several officers in the head at close range after bursting into the small police post.
The gunmen told the policemen to recite Kalma, Muslim holy verses traditionally spoken before death, and then opened fire, he said. They shouted they would not spare any policeman.
“It’s an act of terrorism,” Karachi police chief Tariq Jameel told reporters. “The police are conducting operations against terrorists and this could be a reaction to the operation.”
It was unclear which group was behind the attack, he said. Police were investigating and tightening security at police stations across the port city of 14 million people.
Islamic militants have been blamed for a string of attacks in Pakistan since President Pervez Musharraf backed the U.S.-led “war on terror” in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
One senior police source said a banned sectarian Sunni Muslim group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, could have been involved following the recent arrest of several of its activists, including a man found with explosives in Karachi last week.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has ties to the fundamentalist Taliban militia, which ruled Afghanistan, and al Qaeda, the Osama bin Laden network blamed for the September 11, 2001 suicide hijack attacks in the United States, police say.
The shootout also came a day after police arrested Afaq Ahmed, a leader of a breakaway faction of ethnic Mohajir National Movement (MQM)-Haqiqi, in Karachi.