BATTAGRAM: Two suspected terrorists were arrested and a huge cache of arms and explosives were seized from their possession by the Battagram police on Monday, sources in the security forces told The Express Tribune.
According to officials, police arrested the two suspects, believed to be members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), after receiving a tip-off.
District Police Officer (DPO) Ghulam Hussain told local media that the police, on receiving information, raided a mosque and arrested the two suspects who were busy digging in a deserted area of the Gijbori village in Battagram.
The police also seized a huge cache of weapons and explosive material from a drain.
The cache included one anti-aircraft gun with two bullets, one G3 rifle, seven Kalashnikovs, 12 pistols and revolvers, 413 cartridges, four pressure cookers to be used in bombs, 22 hand grenades, 41 detonators, 115kg explosives, bomb-making material, 11.43 meters prima card, pocket phone, 10 veils, 30.18 meters parachute cloth used in suicide jackets, four mobile phone SIMs, one Afghan MTN mobile SIM, 2GB memory card containing instructions of bomb-making, a binocular, 11 notebooks containing instructions for combat training and bomb-making techniques, and two books on jihad.
The suspected terrorists were identified as Muhammed Iqbal, a resident of Chinay Paty village of Alpuri in Shangla District and Mohammed Ejazul Haq, resident of Dandary Village in Torghar District, the official said.
Iqbal, police said is a member of the TTP and a deputy of Maulana Fazlullah who fled to Afghanistan’s Kunar province after Swat operation and was involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan. Iqbal runs a madrassah (religious seminary) in Baley Baba area of Shangla District, the DPO said.
Ejazul Haq is the nephew of Maulvi Noorul Haq and a teacher at his madrassah. The Maulvi allegedly ordered both the suspects the task to dig out weapons and explosives from the drain and target an army camp at Kabalgram, Shangla District and a police headquarter in Judba, Torghar District.
Iqbal also confessed to his involvement in the blast during Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former minister Amir Muqam’s rally in Battagram on August 11 last year in which eight people were killed and many others injured. He had also allegedly targeted a police van in Torghar killing six policemen and injuring 15.
The suspects were also involved in blasts in a school in Bale Baba and in Chakeesar police check post in Alpuri.
The DPO declared it the biggest cache seized in the area so far and termed the arrest as a huge success in curbing the terrorist acts. The two suspects were presented before the media and later shifted to an unknown place for further interrogation.
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