Arif alias Saqib Anjum
Arif alias Saqib Anjum

QUETTA: Security forces claimed to have killed the chief of militant group Jundullah’s Pakistan chapter in an operation at a village close to the Sindh-Balochistan border in Lasbela district in the early hours of Friday morning.

Acting on a tip-off from intelligence agencies, the Frontier Corps, Sindh Rangers and police arrived at Goth Dilpul in the Sakran area, close to the Karachi northern bypass, and raided a house in a village on Sakran Road. During an hour-long gun battle, Arif alias Saqib Anjum, the chief of Jundullah Pakistan and the nominated naib emir of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Sindh, was killed, a Rangers spokesperson said.

A senior police officer told Dawn that a child was injured in the shootout. Security personnel took the child and a woman, living in the house, into custody and shifted them to Karachi.

Official sources said a large cache of arms and ammunition was seized from the house that Arif had been using as a hideout. “Dozens of hand grenades, AK-47 rifles, rockets and over 1,000kg explosives were seized from the house... They had been packed into four big plastic drums and buried underground,” sources told Dawn. The house was being used as a “factory” for improvised explosive devices.

They said two people had purchased a land in the Goth Dilpul area for one million rupees and two houses and a compound had been constructed on it about three months ago. “The man killed in the encounter had been living at one of the houses with a woman and a young girl for three months.”

Arif had masterminded several suicide attacks in Karachi and Balochistan. He had been planning terror attacks at the Rangers headquarters and the police’s Special Security Unit headquarters in Karachi, the spokesperson said. He was said to have been involved in an attack on the vehicle of then Karachi corps commander Gen Ahsan Saleem, a suicide attack on the Muttahida Majlis Amal leader and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, in Quetta, the assassination of Bilal Shaikh, chief security officer of former president Asif Ali Zardari, and attacks on religious minority communities.

Imtiaz Ali in Karachi contributed to this report.

Published in Dawn November 12th, 2016