The police foiled a terrorist attack when they seized a drum full of hand grenades on Wednesday evening.
The drum was found in some bushes at Super Highway near New Sabzi Mandi within Sachal police limits.
There is a flood survivors' camp located very close to where the drum was found. A child reportedly found a grenade lying near the drum and was playing with it. Other sources claim that the child tried to sell the grenade for Rs5 but one of his elders saw him and informed the police.
On the other hand, the police claim they found the drum on their own. SHO Shabbir Mustafa told The Express Tribune that he was patrolling the area when he found an unused grenade next to the drum.
"When I first saw the drum I was very surprised," he said. "What is this doing here? I thought. When I got closer I saw the grenade and realised the drum must have more grenades inside." He said that he immediately informed his superiors and the bomb disposal squad (BDS).
A heavy contingent of the police and BDS officials arrived and defused 85 hand grenades. They had been stored in the drum and covered up with tar. BDS's Mohammad Khizar said that all the grenades were Russian. They were unsealed and in the original packets.
New Sabzi Mandi is nearly half a kilometre away from where the drum was found, while Madina Colony - with a population of at least 2,000 people - lies just a kilometre away.
The police suspect that the grenades were recently transported to the city to be used in terrorist attacks. "Right now it appears that terrorists were trying to smuggle the grenades into the city but they stored them there because of security checks," SHO Mustafa explained. "They probably planned to wait till night to move them."
Police have registered an FIR, No. 442/11, on behalf of SHO Inspector Ghulam Mustafa against unidentified culprits. The officer said that the defused hand grenades are in police custody and would be produced in court today (Thursday).
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2011.
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