KARACHI: Police on Saturday claimed to have killed five suspected militants linked with the Islamic State (IS) in an ‘encounter’ on the outskirts of the city, and in another incident arrested as many suspects belonging to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.

Acting on a tip-off, Sohrab Goth police conducted a targeted raid on an alleged hideout of the militants in Gharibabad near Ayub Goth off the Superhighway. In an ensuing encounter, five suspects were killed.

Malir SSP Rao Anwar said he received information from an intelligence agency about the presence of militants linked with the outlawed IS.

‘One was involved in killing of policemen, army men, and members of Shia and Christian communities’

One of the dead was identified as Qari Habibullah, alias Abdul Salam Burmi.

“The killed militant was involved in the targeted killing of policemen, army men, and members of Shia and Christian communities,” said the SSP.

Mr Anwar revealed that the law enforcers had conducted a targeted raid on an alleged hideout linked with banned Al-Qaeda in Qayyumabad in 2003 in which a militant from Egypt was killed while Qari Habibullah was arrested with other accomplices.

Later on, he abandoned Al-Qaeda and joined the IS.

“He was involved in several acts of terrorism,” the SSP said. He was involved also in armed attacks on workers and women in Sohrab Goth in 2003. The police claimed to have seized an 8mm rifle, a 9mm pistol and two 30-bore pistols.

“Further investigation is under way,” said the officer.

Five LJ militants held

In another incident, SITE Superhighway Industrial Area police arrested five suspects belonging to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi group.

The police had received information that the LJ militants were present at a place near the Superhighway and were planning to assassinate an important personality belonging to the Shia community.

On Friday night, the police conducted the raid and after an encounter arrested five suspects, said SSP Anwar.

The held suspects were identified as Farhan Shaukat, Nasir Khan, Adnan Asif, Sardar Aijaz and Qaiser Saeed.

The police claimed to have seized a 9mm pistol, four 30-bore pistols and two motorcycles from their custody.

The Malir SSP claimed that held suspect Farhan Shaukat’s father was a police subinspector posted at Security-11 while his (Shaukat) brother was a police constable posted in the railways department.

Two brothers of another detained suspect, Adnan, were police constables, posted in the anti-car-lifting cell of police.

The third arrested suspect, Qaiser Saeed, is a watchman at a bungalow belonging to the Karachi Port Trust.

During initial probe, the held LJ militants revealed that their ringleader was Qari Amin, who killed a few years ago near Korangi Crossing. He motivated them for jihad and carrying out targeted killings of members of the Shia community.

However, after the killing of Qari Amin, Sardar Aijaz was appointed local chief of the LJ, said the police officer.

“He established a team which carried out targeted killings of three members of the Shia community in revenge for the killing of Qari Amin,” added the officer.

Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2017