MULTAN: Tayyab Nawaz alias Hafiz Abdul Mateen, who was killed along with seven other suspected militants on Wednesday night was the head of Al Qaeda, Pakistan, Dawn learnt on Thursday. According to officials sources, three of the militants who were killed in Nawabpur area in an encounter with a joint team comprising Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and ISI personnel were from Al-Ahrar group of banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the remaining were Al-Qaeda members.

The sources said Tayyab was a resident of Dera Ismail Khan while Muneeb Razaq alias Rehman and Zeeshan alias Abu Dajana were from Waziristan. They said two of the militants -- Ameer Mavia and Sultan -- were from Sargodha district, while Al-Ahrar group members were identified as Imran and Irfan of Rahim Yar Khan and the third was a resident of DG Khan.

They said after the postmortem examination at the Nishtar Hospital, the militants’ bodies were shifted to an unidentified location.

After the eight militants were killed, the special branch of Multan region issued a threat alter, saying the TTP could target educational institutes in three cities of Punjab where security needed to be beefed up.

Sources said Muneeb Razaq and Zeeshan were proclaimed offenders in the assassination case of Brig Fazal Qadri in Sargodha while Tayyab was the mastermind of Rawalpindi Parade Lane bombing on December 4, 2009 in which 36 people, including 17 children, 10 civilian and 9 army personnel were killed. He was also wanted in a case pertaining to murder of an army officer, they added.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2016

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