ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR. The mastermind of the Karachi airport attack, Abu Abdul Rehman al Maani was killed during the overnight air strikes carried out by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets and the Pakistan Army jointly in North Waziristan early morning Sunday, military sources told Dawn.com.
Intelligence and military sources told Dawn.com that Abu Abdur Rehman Almani is considered a key commander of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), also now famous by the name of Islamic Movement of Turkestan. The IMU, an organisation of militants mostly from the central Asian Uzbek state, had claimed that its suicide bombers carried out the attack on the Karachi airport.
There are also reports of some East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) terrorists also killed in the strikes, considered a big blow to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the ETIM network in the North Waziristan Agency. However, there was no confirmation from the military on the identity of the deceased.
The ETIM is a separatist militant outfit blamed for numerous terror attacks in China’s restive western region of Xinjiang.
The Chinese government had recently pressed Pakistan to take action against the Uighur separatists based in North Waziristan.
The movement's principle aim is to establish an independent Islamic state called East Turkestan.
Military sources said there were confirmed reports of the presence of foreign and local terrorists in these hideouts who were linked to the planning of the Karachi airport attack that left 38 dead.
Sources said reportedly over 50 terrorists, mostly Uzbeks were killed in the strikes.
Meanwhile, at least three security personnel were injured Sunday afternoon as a security forces vehicle was targeted in Karam Kot village of Mir Ali Tehsil of North Waziristan Agency.