The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on Tuesday claimed to have picked up two suspected target killers allegedly belonging to banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) from Karachi.

In a press release, the CTD said the two men — Muhammad Abdullah Majid and Adnan Ahmad — were involved in sectarian murders and were planning to carry out more attacks during the upcoming month of Muharram.

The two men were arrested during a targeted raid in Bandhani Colony of Liaquatabad near Quba mosque. The CTD also recovered three 9mm pistols, 15 bullets and one motorbike from the suspects' custody.

According to CTD SSP Naveed Ahmed Khawaja, the recent rise in the number of target killings based on ethnic and sectarian affiliations in the metropolis had pushed the CTD to undertake special search operations in various parts of Karachi.

"There were reports that banned jihadist and sectarian outfits were planning to carry out targeted killings of members of their rival sects during the forthcoming month of Muharram," Khawaja said.

During an initial questioning, the held suspects "confessed" to killing several people including those belonging to their "rival sect".

“They were planning more killings during Muharram,” the CTD SSP claimed.

Naveed Khowaja told Dawn that the seized pistols were sent to the police’s forensic lab, which confirmed that the same weapons had been used in recent sect-based murders.

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