A total of 106 suspects were rounded up on Sunday when police received information about the possible presence of terrorists’ facilitators taking refuge on the outskirts of Islamabad in Sihala.
Shahzad Town and Golra police stations conducted a thorough search operation in their respective jurisdictions.
The arrested suspects were shifted to different lockups for further investigation. Police said most of them did not possess proper documentation. “They could not justify their purpose of visit to the city,” said a police officer who participated in the operation but was not authorised to speak to the media.
He added that the search operation focused particularly on rural areas on the outskirts of Islamabad. It came in the wake of multiple threats received from different terrorist elements who had warned of hitting targets in Islamabad. On the ground, intelligence indicated that this time, terrorists’ facilitators could use rural areas as sanctuaries to plan and launch terrorist attacks.
“In rural areas, people are usually not very forthcoming to inform police authorities if they spot any suspicious activity, so the search operation would in a way warn them too,” the officer added.
Earlier last week, an ex-intelligence officer was also kidnapped by unknown gunmen from the outskirts of the city within the jurisdiction of the Sihala police station. Since then, more than 50 suspects have been rounded up in various operations, said an official from Sihala police station.
He added that the main investigation into the kidnapping as well as the murder of the officer’s driver was being carried out by security agencies. However, police investigation teams were assisting them. So far, police have not been informed of any major headway in investigations, according to the police official.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2012.