Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: A Pakistani policeman was killed in Dera Ismail Khan District on Friday after unknown assailants opened fire at him when he was going to duty, local media reported on Saturday.

An official at the Choudhwan police station said the attackers opened fire on the driver of a police mobile van, namely Zahuruddin, a resident of Daraban Kalan. As a result, he died on the spot.

The attackers escaped the scene after committing the crime, the official added.

Soon after the incident, a police contingent reached the spot and surrounded the area to arrest the attackers, Dawn reported.

The attacks on policemen in Pakistan are rampant. In recent months, several cases have been reported in the country.

Last month, a Pakistani police constable was killed while another was injured after an attack on a police post near the South Waziristan tribal district.

Earlier on August 7, at least three people including a policeman were injured in a remote-controlled blast that occurred in Quetta's Hazar Ganji area. The bomb was planted in a motorcycle parked near Hazar Ganji market.

In a similar kind of incident, at least one person was killed and 11 others were injured at Joint Road in Balochistan's Quetta after a grenade exploded.

An official from the related department said that as many as 63 cops have lost their lives in target killings and other attacks in the current year, the highest since 2016.

The majority of the attacks took place in the Dera Ismail Khan region, followed by Bannu, Peshawar and Mardan divisions. At least, 36 policemen were killed in 2017, 30 in 2018, 38 in 2019, 28 in 2020 and 59 in 2021. Since late 2021, the attacks have increased. Mostly cops were hit by target killers.

The first half of July this year witnessed the worst situation in the past eight years. Apart from target killings by the armed attackers, a number of police stations, posts and vans have been attacked with grenades in the last several months.

Observing the rising incidents of attacks on police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistani authorities have strengthened security at all check-posts and relieved the personnel responsible for security lapses.