Lahore Police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested six members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for their alleged involvement in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009.
Police said that a suicide jacket, four Kalashnikovs, eight hand grenades and 1,000 bullets were recovered from their possession.
Addressing a press conference, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Muhammad Aslam Tareen said that after investigating Muhammad Zubair alias Naeek Muhammad and Abdul Wahab – two men already in custody in the case – and with the help of camera footage, it had emerged that the attackers used Tauheed hostel at Wahdat Road and rented houses in Madina Colony near Cavalry Ground and Gujjar Colony, Shahdara, to plot the attack. He said that a day before the attack, the accused vacated a rented house in Gujjar Colony.
Tareen said that the police were tipped off about a meeting of the six TTP members by a source, who raided Jahangir’s tomb in Shahdara Town and arrested the alleged attackers.
The arrested men told interrogators that they belonged to the TTP and were given physical training in Kamalia by one Aslam alias Usama. They said they came to Lahore from Waziristan in December 2008 along with their commanders Abdur Haleem Masood and Aslam Yaseen. They also revealed that their plan was to kidnap the Sri Lankan cricket team and use them to pressure authorities into releasing other arrested TTP members. The alleged attackers said they brought the ammunition and suicide jackets from Toba Tek Singh.
According to the police, they gathered at Jamia Ashrafia after morning prayers on March 3, 2009, and arrived at City Tower near Liberty Chowk in two cars and two rickshaws.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2011.