GUJRAT: An attempt to blow up a railway track between Islamabad and Lahore near Jhelum was foiled on Thursday morning when a terrorist blew himself up after he had been challenged by Motorway police personnel.

A Lahore-bound rail car was to pass through the area after about half an hour when some passersby spotted the man acting suspiciously at the place.

According to people, a shepherd looking after his herd confronted the suspect with questions relating to his whereabouts. The terrorist who was about 30 years old and dressed in blue jeans said he worked for a secret agency, but the shepherd who was not satisfied with the answer called a Motorway police team which was patrolling the area.

The terrorist — whose grey colour Mehran car was parked nearby — lobbed grenades at the police team. But more vehicles of Motorway police reached there. Police opened fire and asked him to surrender. Finding no way to escape, the man blew himself up.

A team of the Punjab police from Jhelum reached the place, along with Jhelum’s District Police Officer Mujahid Akbar Khan and District Coordination Officer Zulfiqar Ahmed Ghumman.

Thirteen hand-grenades, 17 detonators, a Kalashnikov, three pistols, a safety fuse and a remote control were found in the terrorist’s car.

Since Bomb Disposal Squad personnel were not available in Jhelum, a squad from Chakwal was called and the explosives were defused.

According to sources, law-enforcement personnel found two national identity cards at the place bearing the same name but with different addresses – one of Sara-i-Alamgir, Gujrat district, and the other of Jhelum.

The body of the terrorist was taken to the Jhelum district headquarters hospital for autopsy.

Mohammad Asghar adds from Rawalpindi: A source close to an investigation team told Dawn that the bomber had been identified as Uzair Ahmed, an engineering student.

He had lived with his parents in R.A Bazar area of Rawalpindi and his father was associated with PTCL. The family later shifted to Ghori Town in Islamabad where he joined a private engineering university in 2010. Investigators were unable to say if he had completed his education.

“Intelligence agencies suspect the bomber may be associated with Daesh (Arabic acronym for the militant Islamic State group), but it is yet to be confirmed,” a senior security official said.

Jhelum DPO Mujahid Akbar said the suspect was a religious-minded person, adding that his family claimed that they had disowned him a few years ago.

A bomb disposal official said the suspect had a few words with Motorway police personnel before blowing himself up. “Keep away from me as I am going to heaven” was his last sentence.

APP adds: Pakistan Railways Chief Executive Officer Javaid Anwar Boobak said in a statement that a small portion of the track was affected and repair work had been started. The train operation was not disturbed.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2016

Opinion

Danger lurks
27 Sep 2021

Danger lurks

The colonial mindset continues to percolate.
Dance of death
Updated 27 Sep 2021

Dance of death

India is happily flirting with extermination.
Climate of change
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Climate of change

The world faces a climate emergency as the toll on people’s lives and livelihoods keeps growing.

Editorial

Phasing out coal
Updated 27 Sep 2021

Phasing out coal

Move affords Pakistan an opportunity to renegotiate its deals with Beijing to convert them into cheaper, clean energy projects.
27 Sep 2021

Poor online score

A RECENT report by Freedom House, the US-based watchdog that assesses democratic trends around the world, has placed...
27 Sep 2021

Child’s mental capacity

CONVERTING to another faith is one of the most consequential decisions an individual can make in their lifetime. It...
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Intransigent Taliban

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has delivered an effective speech at the UN General Assembly session detailing the salient...
26 Sep 2021

Deadly misinformation

THE distinction between ‘fake’ and ‘authentic’ news is now a concept impossible to escape. In an...
26 Sep 2021

Covid arrests

THE unilateral decision taken by Karachi’s East Zone police to arrest citizens without Covid vaccination cards ...