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RAWALPINDI: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has claimed to have arrested a man involved in stabbing several women, including two nurses from the Fauji Foundation Hospital – one of whom died last Sunday.

However, senior police officials have refused to confirm whether the suspect apprehended by the CTD is in fact the real knife attacker, as he has yet to be handed over to the police, who registered two of the latest cases regarding knife attacks on women.

“It is not 100pc confirmed whether the man arrested by the CTD was the real killer/attacker, because the suspect has not been handed over to the police, and the police’s investigating officers have not been given access to him so far,” Regional Police Officer Mohammad Sultan Raja told Dawn.

He said the police would only be able to confirm the arrest of the man involved in knife attack incidents after he has been investigated by the police in connection with the cases registered with the Morgah police.

Police unable to confirm whether the arrested man is the knife attacker as they do not have access to him

Sources close to the CTD have identified the suspect as Mohammad Ali, 19, from Kahuta. He was living in the Morgah area with his uncle since his mother died and his father remarried.

A source said he was distressed after his mother died. The source added that he was arrested by the CTD in Morgah, and after he was picked up he was produced before two of the latest knife attack victims for identification purposes.

The police source said the suspect was identified by Samra, who was attacked at the doorstep of her home half an hour after two Fauji Foundation Hospital nurses were attacked outside the hospital on August 7.

After the police launched their investigation into the two attacks, it sought assistance from the CTD Rawalpindi, who in turn claimed to have arrested the man on Thursday night. Although more than four suspects were detained by the CTD and the police in connection with these cases, Mr Ali was the only suspect identified by the latest victim.

Another source close to the investigation said the CTD’s suspect had been attending a computer class in Saddar. He had recently undergone surgery, and was advised rest by doctors.

Once the CTD began investigating the cases, a sketch of the suspected attacker was released by the police, and search operations were conducted by Ranger, police and Elite Force personnel in Morgah and its surrounding areas.

The two nurses who were attacked were identified as Annum Ashraf, 26, and Irum Shahzad, 24. They were attacked by unidentified individuals while returning from a market on Sunday night. One of the victims died from the injuries she sustained.

Half an hour after they were attacked, Samra was stabbed in a similar attack just outside her home in Morgah. Abdul Razzaq, the victim’s father, said she was attacked by a man with a knife-like object.

In 2015, Riffat was attacked by a knife wielding man, and survived. Another woman, Mrs Faisal Bukhari, was similarly attacked in March this year on her way home from a doctor’s visit with her daughter.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2016