Four terrorists killed in ‘encounter’ near Bahawalpur

Updated 18 May 2020

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CTD says 11 hand-grenades among arms seized. — AFP/File
CTD says 11 hand-grenades among arms seized. — AFP/File

BAHAWALPUR: The Counter Terrorism Depart-ment (CTD) claimed on Sunday to have killed four terrorists during an ‘encounter’ near here on Saturday night.

A CTD spokesman said three accomplices of the killed outlaws managed to escape and a hunt was continuing for their arrest. He identified the dead as Amanullah, Abdul Jabbar, Rehman Ali and Aleem.

He claimed the slain men belonged to the militant Islamic State (IS) group and were planning to attack some sensitive places in Bahawalpur. He said their hideout was raided following intelligence reports near a forest close to the Azam Chowk area.

He said that 11 hand-grenades, three rifles, a pistol and ammunition were recovered from the raided site.

Pakistan believes the activities of IS in the country are being controlled by a group based in Afghanistan. Last month, Islamabad had asked Kabul to hand over a suspected leader of a group linked to the IS who was arrested by Afghan security forces.

The Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security, had announced on April 6 the arrest of “Islamic State of the Khorasan Province” leader Abdullah Orakzai, also known as Aslam Farooqi, a Pakistani-origin suspected militant.

CTD says 11 hand-grenades among arms seized

His arrest came days after the group claimed responsibility for the killing of 25 people in an attack on a Sikh worship place in Kabul.

The Foreign Ministry summoned the Afghan ambassador and conveyed to him its views with regard to Farooqi’s arrest. Kabul, however, rejected Pakistan’s demand to hand him over.

Afghanistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on April 10 that Aslam Farooqi was wanted for a number of gruesome terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and he would be tried in line with laws in Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan does not discriminate between terrorists, it takes equal legal actions against all and is committed to all anti-terrorism commitments,” it said.

It further noted that there was no agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the extradition of suspects and convicts.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2020