4 bank robbers arrested after 30-minute gun battle


Fawad Ali Shah June 03, 2010

KARACHI: A bank robbery turned into a violent encounter when four dacoits, allegedly associated with the banned militant outfits, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, broke into Habib Bank Limited on Thursday and were later arrested.

The robbers entered the bank’s branch, located in Qasba Colony, took the staff and customers hostage. According to witnesses, one of the robbers collected money and the others looted the lockers. After gathering Rs2.7 million, the alleged militant dacoits tried to escape, but failed.

The commotion in the bank, which is centrally located in a popular market, caught the attention of shopkeepers who called the police. The paramilitary Rangers and officers of the Special Investigation Unit of the police arrived and cordoned off the area.

After the robbers found about the presence of security forces outside the bank, one of them, identified as Abdullah alias doctor, came outside the bank and tried to attack the police by throwing a hand grenade, but it exploded in his hand. Due to the hand-grenade explosion, Abdullah, along with two police constables, Kamran and Munawar Hussain, were injured.

This led to a heavy exchange of fire between the robbers and the security forces. The militants, then, threw another hand grenade but missed the police, their target. The grenade hit a motorcycle stand and damaged five bikes.

After a half-an-hour gun battle between the militants and the law-enforcement agencies, the police managed to arrest all the four bandits and claimed to have seized two hand grenades and four pistols as well as the stolen money.

Police officials said that two of the four arrested persons were injured and were admitted to hospital.

According to the police, Abdullah alias doctor is the mastermind and is a declared absconder in the bank robbery case that took place in Memon Goth on April 26. Another arrested person, Omair, is the son of the pesh-e-imam of the Siddiq-e-Akbar mosque located in Sector 11 ½ , Orangi Town. CCPO Karachi Waseem Ahmed confirmed to The Express Tribune that the robbers belong to the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. In the encounter, two passersby were also wounded.

Meanwhile, the officers of the Orangi Town police station who played a vital role in the encounter have been promoted, while the bank’s administration has announced a reward money of Rs100,000 for the police party. This attempted bank robbery marks the eight dacoity of the year 2010.

Published in the Express Tribune, June, 4th, 2010.

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