QUETTA: Security forces foiled a major terrorism plot on Saturday when they seized a huge cache of arms and explosives from Balochistan’s Mastung district, a security official said.
The official, requesting anonymity, told Dawn.com that intelligence agencies acting on a tip-off conducted a raid at a house in Kanak area of Mastung district, some 50 kilometres southwest of Quetta.
He said a suspect was arrested during the raid and was shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
“One of the rooms was filled with explosive material,” he said, adding that forces also recovered arms and ammunition from the house.
“Forces did not face any resistance during the operation,” he said.
He said the intelligence suggested that the explosive material and weapons were being brought to Quetta to carry out terrorism activities during the holy month of Muharram.
Quetta, the capital of insurgency-hit Balochistan province, has been plagued by rising sectarian violence in recent years.
The raid by security forces follows major acts of terrorism in the city earlier this week, which included a suicide bombing on Maulana Fazlur Rehman – the leader of the largest religious political party in Pakistan’s parliament – who escaped unhurt in the attack.
Terror stalked the provincial capital on Thursday when three separate gun-and-bomb attacks claimed at least 13 lives.
A deadly gun attack on a bus killed eight members of the ethnic Hazara Shia community, which has been a constant target of sectarian militants. A planted bomb attack on security forces later on Thursday claimed the lives of three more civilians.
Banned militant group Jundallah claimed responsibility for the attempt on the JUI-F chief’s life, while sectarian militants Lashkar-i-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attacks on the Hazara community and security forces.
Police teams formed to probe terror attacks
Earlier today, the Balochistan police department constituted three teams headed by two senior officers to probe the recent acts of terrorism in the capital.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Quetta, Razzaq Cheema formed investigation teams headed by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Asad Raza and SSP Operations Aitzaz Goraya, to probe the recent incidents in Quetta.
According to a senior police officer, the CCPO entrusted the task of investigation to both officers and directed them to submit reports as early as possible.
“Investigation teams have collected body parts of the suicide-bomber from the spot and has sent them for DNA testing to Lahore,” he said.
Members of the investigative teams also visited the spot of the suicide bombing on the Jamit Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) rally to collect clues regarding the attack.
Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch had taken serious notice of the terrorism incidents and had ordered police to catch the culprits.
“We have got leads in one case,” said Quetta Police chief Razzaq Cheema.
He said that police had detained around 30 suspects, who were currently under interrogation.