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KARACHI: The Counter-Terrorism Department of police on Thursday claimed to have arrested five suspected militants in separate incidents who belonged to the Islamic State group, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Balochistan Liberation Army.

In the first raid, the CTD arrested three suspects — Hafiz Imran Khan, Zahid Khan and Asmatullah — in Orangi Town, who provided financial assistance to militants and collected donations besides treating injured militants, said CTD SSP Junaid Shaikh.

The suspects were also involved in an attack on an army convoy in Swat in 2016.

The suspects belong to Islamic State group, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Balochistan Liberation Army

The officer claimed that the police had reports that the militants could plan terrorist acts during Muharram in the city.

Separately, the police conducted a raid in a Korangi locality and arrested two separatists — Rasheed Ahmed and Ghulam Dastgir — linked with the banned Balochistan Liberation Army.

They were experts in making bombs and involved in carrying out bomb attacks on railway tracks, added the counter-terrorism force official.

“They allegedly carried out a bomb attack on a railway track in Ubauro, Ghotki in 2017,” said the police official.

Probe

During the initial interrogation, the held IS militant, Hafiz Imran Khan, told interrogators that he had memorised the holy Quran and had done BPharmacy from Mardan.

He added that he had treated injured militants and provided treatment to two militants who had been wounded during a clash with army in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Imran revealed that he had treated at least 32 wounded militants and collected funds for the IS.

Another arrested suspect, Zahid Khan, allegedly told the interrogators that he had previously been associated with the Awami National Party and involved in extortion in Sohrab Goth.

However, after “decline of the ANP”, he joined the TTP and started collecting funds for it, which he provided to the TTP Sohrab Goth chief, Ameer Khan, revealed the CTD SSP.

The TTP suspect allegedly told the investigators that they had been against the law enforcers in Karachi and had been directed to kill them wherever he found them.

He claimed that six members of the TTP used to ride motorbikes in the surroundings of Sohrab Goth and provided information to Ameer Khan about easy targets. Apart from reconnaissance, they also collected funds.

The third held suspect, Asmatullah, allegedly belonged to the TTP. He was born in Zabul province of Afghanistan and was living in Pishin, Balochistan. He told the interrogators that he had done a course for becoming a mufti (religious scholar) from a seminary.

About his joining the outfit, Asmatullah allegedly said that he could “not tolerate the atrocities committed against Muslims in Afghanistan by the United States”.

He also stated that he was “against Pakistan’s decision of supporting the US action in Afghanistan”. Therefore, he first joined the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and later the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Subsequently, he with his accomplices started targeting Nato containers. He also received militancy training at a camp in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and took part in fight against American troops there.

He is also reportedly an expert in preparing improvised explosive devices.

BLA

The CTD SSP told Dawn that the arrested BLA suspect, Ghulam Dastgir, belonged to Ghotki district and held a master’s degree.

He told the interrogators that he had joined the BLA in 2007 and developed ties with a separatist group in Sindh, led by Shafi Burfat, and allegedly carried out explosions on railway tracks in Ghotki in 2016 and 2018, claimed the senior police officer.

He claimed that the separatists from Sindh and the tribal chiefs from Balochistan living on the Sindh-Punjab border area also supported them. Besides, they were supported by foreign elements. He said he had joined the banned outfit after watching videos, which contained speeches of Baloch separatist leaders living abroad.

The other held BLA suspect, Rasheed Ahmed, originally belonged to Mastung, Balochistan.

He told the CTD interrogators that he had joined the separatist outfit after the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2018