An armed militant assault on a Pakistan power grid has left at least seven people dead and residents near Peshawar City without power. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Armed militants killed seven people early Tuesday while attacking and burning a power station that is the largest in Pakistan's the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police said.
Peshawar Police Chief Imtiaz Altaf said dozens of militants were involved in attacking the power station in the Sheikh Mohammadi area of Badhber, in northwest Pakistan.
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The largest power station in the Khyber Pakhtunkwha province lies largely in ruin after Tuesday's attack.
He said the militants attacked the station with rockets and mortars, cutting off electricity to half of Peshawar, the major city that serves as the provincial capital, and adjoining areas.
"The militants first killed a police constable and security guard of the Water and Power Department deployed on the main entrance of the power house," the police chief said.
They then entered the station and set numerous fires before kidnapping nine people – later killing five of them and throwing their bodies in fields, he said.
Four Water and Power Department workers were still missing and believed to be in custody of the militants, he added.
Among the seven dead, four were employees of the Water and Power Department while three others were policemen.
A spokesman of the Peshawar Electric Supply Co., Shaukat Afzal, said the militants had destroyed the entire station.
"This 500-kilovolt grid station was the biggest power grid station of the province and has completely been damaged. People may face some extra power load shedding in the coming days," Afzal said.
Militants have recently stepped up attacks on security forces and government installations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and adjoining tribal areas and have threatened to disrupt May 11 general elections in the country.