As questions surrounding what was initially described as a ‘foiled suicide attack’ continue to grow, the police have confirmed that the five suspected Chechen militants gunned down on Tuesday in Quetta were not wearing suicide vests, nor were they carrying any weapons on their person.
A senior police official told The Express Tribune that they, “seized 52 detonators fixed in separate shampoo bottles.” However, these detonators were discovered from the vehicle from which the suspects had already alighted.
The five were on foot when they were shot dead.
Eyewitness accounts continue to claim that the five were ready to surrender when they were gunned down, and that excessive force was used on the part of the Frontier Corps and police.
The police have formed different investigation teams under the supervision of four Superintendents Police (SPs).
It has also come to light that the five suspects gunned down had two more ‘accomplices’ who fled the scene when the incident occurred. A manhunt has been launched to locate the two.
Quoting the designated driver for the ‘terrorists’, the senior police officer said that, “The driver picked up seven foreigners from the Kuchlak area. They were heading towards the Ghousabad area of Saryab, a Quetta suburb where most Afghan refugees take shelter.”
“They paid the driver Rs700 as transport fare. They asked him not to stop if the police signaled. The driver did as asked because he said they were carrying hand grenades,” the police officer added.
The driver is currently being interrogated by the police.
According to the doctors at Bolan Medical College Hospital who performed the postmortem, the suspects’ wounds indicated that they did not hurl grenades at the security personnel. “It seems that the grenades exploded close to the victims,” a doctor suggested.
It was unclear whether the suspected terrorists had tried to attack the FC checkpost or if the police had chased them and then later opened fire at them.
The FC said the alleged suicide bombers tried to approach the checkpost and were gunned down before they could retaliate.
The police on the other hand said they were chasing the suspects and opened fire at them near the FC checkpost in Kharotabad area.
“The terrorists showed the hand grenades to the police personnel deputed in Darwesh area, close to Kuchlak.”
“We recovered five cell phones, two diaries and seven passports and are investigating the matter. Two of the passports were expired,” the police official added.
The passports contained valid visas for Iran which suggested that the foreigners intended to go to Iran through Taftan.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2011.