KARACHI: Police and Rangers on Monday claimed to have arrested five suspected militants, including two would-be suicide bombers, linked with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in an intelligence-based action in Jamshoro.
Speaking at a press conference at his office in Karachi, Counter-Terrorism Department’s DIG Omar Shahid said that the CTD and Rangers jointly carried out a targeted raid in Jamshoro and arrested five TTP militants.
Accompanied by Rangers personnel, he said the held suspects were involved in six major terrorist acts in the country and were planning to carry out suicide bombings to target police in Karachi.
The suspects were identified as Sheeraz Akbar, Liaquat Ali, Meer Wais, Mohammed Aamir and Nigar Ali. Aamir and Ali are said to be the would-be suicide bombers.
CTD and Rangers say suspects were planning to carry out a suicide attack at Police Training Centre Saeedabad
The police seized two suicide jackets, six hand-grenades, three SMGs, two 9mm pistols, two police uniforms, a map of Police Training Centre Saeedabad, mobile phone and CDs from their custody.
“During interrogation, the held suspects revealed that they were planning an attack on the Police Training Centre (PTC) Saeedabad and its reconnaissance was also carried out,” said the DIG.
The CDs recovered from their custody contained a complete recce of the PTC as well as the video statement of would-be bombers Aamir and Ali, which was supposed to be released after the attack.
Involvement in Data Darbar blast case
The held suspects also revealed their involvement in several acts of terrorism.
They informed the investigators that on Feb 2, 2018 they carried out a suicide attack during a Pak Army volleyball match in Swat in which 11 soldiers were martyred while 13 others were hurt.
They also carried out a suicide attack at Data Darbar in Lahore on May 8, 2019 in which 10 persons were martyred and 25 others hurt.
They also planned a suicide attack in the Judges’ Colony in Peshawar in February 2019, but security forces had foiled their attempt.
They also carried out a suicide attack against chief of ‘Amn Lashkar’, Amir Malik Moatabar Khan in Dir in August 2019 in which several persons were injured.
They also planted an improvised explosive device (IED) at the shop of Abdul Rahim Afridi over non-payment of extortion in Peshawar in June 2018. The device was defused by police.
They were also involved in a suicide attack on the vehicles of Army and FC in the Kuchlak area of Balochistan in April 2018 in which seven personnel were martyred while 15 others injured.
Officials said that the group had been involved in terror acts against vehicles of security forces in several areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last two years.
Colonel Shabbir of the Pakistan Rangers told the media that held suspect Sheeraz had fled to Afghanistan after the Swat military operation. He had obtained an Afghan passport, which showed that he has travelled back to Pakistan twice.
Another suspect, Akbar, had also come to Pakistan several times by using his Afghan passport.
He said it transpired during interrogation that the suspects came to Pakistan from Torkham.
The DIG said they planned to carry out a suicide bombing at the PTC by wearing police uniforms.
Another TTP suspect held in Malir
Separately, the Malir police claimed to have arrested suspect Usman Ghani, said to be associated with the TTP (Bajauri group).
Malir SSP Irfan Bahadur said that the held suspect went to Afghanistan in 2019 where he met Taliban ‘commander’ Qari Ubaidullah alias Qari Saqib. He got militancy training from Afghanistan and was involved in an attack on security forces at the Pak-Afghan border near Bajaur in which one policeman was martyred.
The suspect revealed giving huge cash amount to Hijratullah alias Jutt in Karachi in 2020. “Usman Ghani used to remain in touch with his accomplices through Facebook,” said the police officer.
Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2021