The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Sindh police claimed to have arrested four alleged terrorists on Saturday. Officials said that the men are affiliated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
SIU’s Raja Omer Khattab told The Express Tribune that his team managed to apprehend the men after an exchange of fire in Pak Colony. The raid was carried out after the police received information that certain terrorists were hiding in the area. When personnel arrived in the locality, they asked the men to surrender, but instead of doing so, the terrorists opened fire. In the resultant shoot-out, the police managed to arrest Asif Hussain, Mohammad Mubarak, Mohammad Ibrahim and Taj Aslam. One hand grenade and four Tula-Tokarev pistols were also seized from their possession.
Raja Khattab stated that the accused men were involved in the kidnapping of Shaukat Afridi, an oil supplier for Nato forces. Three of their accomplices, who were trained as suicide bombers, were eliminated in 2008, when officials of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) raided their hideout in Baldia Town in an attempt to recover the kidnapped Afridi. During that incident, one of the suicide bombers blew himself up to avoid arrest, with Afridi dying in the resulting explosion. However, CID men managed to arrest Raheemullah, an activist of the Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, and mastermind of the Nishtar Park bombing that claimed over 50 lives.
During initial questioning, the four arrested men allegedly revealed to investigators that they were trained in the tribal areas and had planned a series of attacks in the city. More raids are underway to arrest their accomplices.
The Pak Colony police appear to have been kept in the dark about the raids. When asked for comment, SHO Malik Ayub said that he was unaware of any SIU activity on his turf.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2011.
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