RAWALPINDI: A terror plot targeting Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was foiled after the Rangers and police killed two suspected terrorists in a raid in Wah Cantonment, Rawalpindi early Monday morning.
Intelligence agencies had issued an alert a few days ago, warning that there could be a terrorist attack near the Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF) in Wah.
Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of Wah Saddar police, paramilitary Rangers and other security forces raided a deserted, under-construction house on Malhi Road, in Scheme No 2 of Wah Cantonment.
On seeing the squad of security forces, the terrorists opened fire at them. The police and Rangers returned fire.
During the exchange of fire, two terrorists were killed.
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During a search of the house, owned by Muhammad Sohail – an employee of the POF – security forces found a suicide vest, four hand grenades, a Kalashnikov rifle and a 30-bore pistol with 32 bullets.
The bomb disposal squad was summoned to defuse the explosives.
The terrorists were identified as Muhammad Abbas and Sifatullah who belonged to Charsadda. Their bodies were shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital for an autopsy.
The raid was followed by a combing operation in the area to flush out any other terrorists.
Later, a case was registered and included sections 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1999, 353 and 186 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act (ESA), police said.
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Wah Saddar police station SHO Yasir Rabbani said the terrorists were hiding in the house for the past four days. "Initial information indicates that the terrorists intended to target the Labour Day rally where Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar was scheduled to speak," he revealed.
He officer said more search operations were under way in the area to arrest terrorists and other criminals. "The owner of the house was not aware that terrorists were hiding there," he added.
Separately, police, Rangers, army and security forces combed Raja Bazaar, checking 105 houses, 30 hotels and 25 shops. Fifteen suspects, including three Afghan nationals, were detained.