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Sanitation workers’ killings linked to banned groups

November 21, 2017

RAWALPINDI: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and police officials investigating the murders of five sanitation workers in ‘targeted’ incidents have not made any breakthroughs yet, but investigators are probing different angles, including possible links with the so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group.

“We have been investigating the cases from different angles, as no personal enmity was reported between the sanitation workers. IS has been involved in spreading terror in the country, so we are looking at the case from that angle as well,” said a senior police official close to the investigation.

Explaining why they suspected IS, the police official said that the militant group had targeted non-Muslims in other parts of the world and could be trying to spread terror in the country by targeting sanitation workers.

He said the name of the company (Al-Bayrak) that employed the deceased workers had created some unrest among many people and the militant group might have targeted their workers to send the government a message – to change the name of the company.

However, another police official said that two Muslim sanitation workers had also been killed, so it was possible that some other banned group was attempting to spread terror in the garrison city.

On Nov 11, three sanitation workers of the Al-Bayrak company were shot dead by armed motorcyclists in Sadiqabad.

Two died on the spot, while the third one, a truck driver identified as Mohammad Irshad, passed away in hospital four days later.

Over the past five months, three targeted incidents that have claimed the lives of five sanitation workers have taken place, but police have not made any headway in the cases yet.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2017