KARACHI: While law-enforcement agencies picked up 15 suspects in connection with the Friday grenade and gun attacks in North Nazimabad, a senior official of the Counter-Terrorism Department on Saturday believed that the attacks were the handiwork of militants of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

On Friday, two men riding a motorbike first threw a grenade at the North Nazimabad Police Complex that also houses the Taimuria police station and then fired at personnel of traffic police at the Five Star traffic intersection, killing a rickshaw driver.

Police and paramilitary Rangers launched a joint combing operation in North Nazimabad and took into custody 15 criminals involved in “terrorist activities”, said a Rangers spokesperson in a statement on Saturday.

The held suspects were handed over to the police for further legal action, he added.

Officials said they were pursuing all angles to identify the assailants and the possible motive behind the two attacks.

“The modus operandi appears to be of banned jihadi outfits as they had been involved in similar acts of terrorism in the same vicinity of North Nazimabad and other localities,” said CTD official Raja Umer Khattab.

He suspected the involvement of banned AQIS in both the incidents.

He believed that the AQIS network in the city had been weakened following the April 2016 arrests of their members who were involved in some improvised explosive device (IED) attacks on law-enforcement agencies in the metropolis. Since the Taimuria police station came under grenade attack, it indicated that the banned militant outfit now lacked IED-making expertise, he added.

Regarding their possible motive, the CTD official said that the militants wanted to make their presence felt in the city.

Regarding the targeted killing of Sub-Inspector Iqbal Mehmood, who was gunned down on Wednesday night on main Rashid Minhas Road, he said that investigators had ruled out the involvement of any banned militant outfits in the killing.

He said that the investigators were looking into the cases on which the slain officer was working and some progress was made in ascertaining the identity and motive of the killers.

‘65pc street crimes committed by drug addicts’

A meeting chaired by Karachi police chief Mushtaq Mahar on Saturday was informed that around 65 per cent of criminals involved in street crimes were drug addicts who committed crimes to get money for drugs.

The meeting decided to accelerate a targeted action against street crimes and eliminate all drug dens in the city.

Participants of the meeting also deliberated upon cases pending before antiterrorism courts. They were directed to complete the investigation of the terrorism cases as soon as possible.

The meeting, which was attended by all zonal DIGs and other senior officers, decided to send copies of FIRs of all terrorism cases to the administrative judge of the ATCs within 24 hours.

The city police chief directed all officers to meet the general public for two hours on a daily basis during their office timing.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2017

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