Major terrorism plot aimed at New Year’s Eve foiled in Karachi

Published December 31, 2018
The police seized three hand grenades from the spot besides a motorbike which was rigged with electric wires. — File photo
The police seized three hand grenades from the spot besides a motorbike which was rigged with electric wires. — File photo

KARACHI: Police on Sunday claimed to have foiled a major terrorism plot by defusing a seven-kilogram bomb planted in a motorbike in the old Subzi Mandi area.

Acting on a tip-off provided by an ‘informer’, contingents of police conducted a raid early on Sunday morning in Kernal Basti at old Subzi Mandi, where they came under a gun-and-grenade attack, but no one was wounded in the assault. The police detained seven suspects.

The police seized three hand grenades from the spot besides a motorbike which was rigged with electric wires, triggering suspicion in the law enforcers, said Karachi East SSP Azfar Mahesar.

The Bomb Disposal Squad was called in, who defused an explosive device attached to the motorbike.

7kg bomb attached to a motorbike defused near old Subzi Mandi

Mr Mahesar said that the bomb weighed around seven kilograms containing nuts and bolts. It was attached to a remote control device. Regarding the motorbike, the officer said that it was stolen in PIB Colony on Saturday evening and its owner had lodged its report at the police station concerned.

TTP group

The SSP-East said he believed that the suspects who attached the bomb to the motorbike belonged to the Mufti Shakir-led Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan based in Afghanistan.

“Mufti Shakir-led group was involved in deadly suicide attacks on the slain CIA SP Chaudhry Aslam and Inspector Shafiq Tanoli in the vicinity of the same area in the past,” recalled SSP Mahesar.

“This area has remained a stronghold of banned militant outfits,” admitted the senior officer.

“We have information that the militants were planning a terror attack on the Eve of New Year,” the officer said.

The investigators were also looking into the possibility that this network might be operating from Central Prison Karachi.

“The police have recovered some evidences from the spot, which indicated this group’s links with Central Prison,” said Azfar Mahesar.

‘Possible target’

DIG-East Amir Farooqi, who visited the crime scene, told Dawn that they suspected that the militants’ possible target might be a centre in the same vicinity of their supposed rival school of thought.

However, SSP Azfar Mahesar added that there were at least “five high value targets” in the same vicinity and over the past two months, they had been receiving reports that terrorists might target anyone of them to sabotage the peace in the provincial capital.

He said a case had been registered at the Counter-Terrorism Department of police against unidentified suspects under the terrorism act on behalf of a PIB police officer.

Meanwhile, IGP Sindh Dr Syed Kaleem Imam announced Rs100,000 cash award and appreciation certificate for the Bomb Disposal Squad and the police party for defusing the huge bomb in the old Subzi Mandi area.

Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2018

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