ISLAMABAD, Feb 14 The capital police have suggested to the Rawalpindi police joint investigations into the recent target killings and attacks in the two cities, Dawn has learnt.

Police sources said on Sunday that the suggestion was made after similarities were found in the weapons used in the attacks that killed one and injured two army brigadiers and a federal minister in Islamabad last year.

Forensic tests abroad on the empties - shells of bullets - found at the sites of these attacks showed that the very same 7.62 and 9MM rifles that killed Brig Moinuddin Haider on 22 October 2009 were used seven days later in the attacks on Brig Waqar Ahmad and a week later on Brig Hafiz Sohail, both of whom survived, the sources said.

In the case of Brig Sohail, the attackers used a 30-bore pistol also.

In view of this, the Islamabad police have sought from the Rawalpindi police the empty shells of the bullets fired at politician Sheikh Rashid, and killed three persons, on February 7 to determine whether the same weapons and men were behind the latest targeted attack. A senior police officer said the Islamabad police investigations have, meanwhile, traced two persons who were involved in killing Brig Haider in October and wounding Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi in September 2009.

“They hail from Rojhan and used to visit Multan frequently,” confided the officer, regretting that they had been successful in evading arrest so far.

The officer said the two culprits were members of the Ghazi Force, connected with the Lal Masjid and its affiliate Jamia Faridiya that were the target of a bloody military operation in July 2007 for harbouring armed radical religious activists. A fourth military officer, retired Maj-Gen Ameer Faisal Alvi of the army's special group, was killed in Islamabad on November 19, 2008, in an apparently targeted attack.

Meanwhile, the intelligence agency investigating the suicide attack at World Food Programme on October 5, 2009, has arrested three more suspects and handed them over to the capital police after interrogating them. Earlier, the police arrested the alleged mastermind of the attack in December last.

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