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— File photo
— File photo

GILGIT: Security forces intensified search on Wednesday for militants of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in the remote northern town of Chilas, headquarters of the Diamer district, after the killing of three high-profile security officials in the area the previous day. The TTP had claimed responsibility for the shooting.

The slain officials — an army colonel, a captain and a senior superintendent of police (SSP) — were investigating the June 23 killing of nine foreign tourists and one of their Pakistani guides in the area.

Victims of the mountain assault included climbers from China, Lithuania, Nepal, Slovakia, Ukraine and one person with joint US-Chinese citizenship. One Chinese climber had escaped the attack.

“We are at present engaged in a search operation against murderers and are very much hopeful of arresting them soon because 14 suspects have already been taken into custody and are being interrogated,” Ali Sher, Deputy Inspector General of Police who is heading the operation in the area, told Dawn.

Police said hideouts of Taliban were being raided.

Law-enforcement agencies, backed by Pakistan Army, have sealed all entry and exit points of the small town which has a population of 40,000. The town is visited by people of the entire district for different purposes.

The police official said that a rally was also held in the area to condemn the murder of the security officials.

People of the area were in a state of shock and an air of gloom and fear enveloped the area because of the rising number of acts of terror which were previously unknown to them.

The DIG said the entire populace of the area should not be linked with terrorism as this would bring nothing but destruction.

Mr Sher pointed towards activists of banned outfits, but did not say which organisation is behind the attack.

“They (militants) have undergone training at various places and are now totally brainwashed,” he said, adding that they could only be stopped if a political solution was found out.

He said that some possible attacks on other police officials were foiled after a tip-off.

“We arrested a man along with weapons who was trying to kill a superintendent of police in Astore and another in Gilgit. Both are now behind bars and they have confessed before courts. Their cases are being heard,” Mr Sher said.

He said hundreds of houses had already been searched to arrest militants wanted by police.

“Do you know I was also a target in some other areas, but Allah Almighty saved me, but the SSP fell victim,” he said.

The DIG spoke kindly about the people of Diamer, saying they had nothing to do with acts of terrorism, but some hidden powers wanted them in the arena.

Comments (5) Closed

NASAH (USA) Aug 08, 2013 07:12am

This is no good time to stop drone attacks -- but to triple drone attacks to get the Chilas murderers.

Niamet Aug 08, 2013 09:39am

Pakistan army must destroy this harmful BUG called Taliban,otherwise Pakistan will pay a heavier price in the long run. Does Nawaz Shariff or General Kiayani can do the job or are they scared of this BUG and rather have people of Pakistan suffer more?

Hussain Aug 08, 2013 01:44pm

more than hundred and fifty people ve been gunned down in chilas in a year (mostly shias). There are videos available in market showing chilasi muslims stoning innocent people to death. Mullahs mis onterpret quran saying 'to kill an abc means going to heaven' (which is not considered as blasphemy). come on khan sahab show some moral maturity..

M R Khawaja Aug 08, 2013 04:13pm

Operation should be to kill them along with those who train them and harbour them give them protection. Also those who supply them arms and ammunition. No political solution but eliminating them and keep it till they are eliminated. Armed forces have the capacity to do it needs political will to do it.

RIAZ Aug 08, 2013 07:17pm

I agree with you and going after them will be real Jihad