Massacre averted: LeJ chief, two ‘bombers’ among six killed by police

Suspects were planning attack on Hussainian Iranian Imambargah.

Our Correspondent November 14, 2013
Suspects were planning attack on Hussainian Iranian Imambargah. PHOTO: FILE


The police claimed to have foiled a major terrorist activity during Muharram in Karachi by killing six alleged terrorists of the banned religious outfit, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) on Thursday morning.

LeJ’s Karachi chapter chief of the Asif Chohtu group, Gul Hasan, and two alleged suicide bombers, Muhammad Arif alias Salahuddin alias Mairaj alias Javed Chashma and Naveed Baloch alias Chohta, were among the suspects killed in an encounter with the officials of the Anti-Extremist Cell (AEC) of the Crime Investigation Department. Law enforcers said, however, that the threats of terrorism were still looming in the city.

AEC officials claimed that the encounter took place when the police raided the militants’ hideout near Lucky Pahari on Mauripur Road. When the police surrounded the militants’ hideout, the suspects opened indiscriminate fire. In retaliation, the police also fired back, during which six terrorists were killed, and, three CID personnel, Yasir, Faizan and Ali Faisal suffered injuries.

The three other suspects killed during the encounter were identified as Syed Khalil Hussain Shah alias Shahji, Maqbool alias Baan and Naveed Ayub. Their bodies were taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi and later shifted to the Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth. “They were planning to attack Shia mourners,” claimed AEC chief SP Chaudhry Aslam Khan.

According to Khan, the outlaws were planning to open fire and then carry out suicide bombings at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar in addition to attacking the Ashura procession.

AEC officials also claimed to have recovered two suicide jackets that were ready to go off, four Kalashnikovs, two 9mm pistols, a remote control and detonators. “Hassan was the mastermind of various terrorist activities in Karachi,” claimed Khan, adding that there would have been a great loss of lives but their timely action saved the day.

Khan further said that Hassan was also arrested in the past but was then released on bail, adding that he was also the mastermind of the attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar and was wanted by the police in various cases of terrorism, including bombings on Masjid Hyderi and Imambargah Ali Raza, as well as, attacks on buses of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission. “The other terrorists killed during the encounter were involved in more than 50 cases of sectarian killings, including those of Shia lawyers and journalist Syed Shah in Karachi,” he said.

Last year, the AEC police recovered an explosives-laden vehicle after an encounter with alleged militants of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Manghopir when the terrorists were going to target a Muharram procession.

Just two days before the start of Muharram this year, around one dozen people from both Sunni and Shia communities became targets of sectarian killings in Karachi. Rangers and the police claim that the militant wing of a political party was behind the sectarian killings and the culprits would be arrested within three days but no headway was made.

Karachi witnessed three consecutive blasts on Muharram 8, two outside a North Nazimabad imambargah and one outside an imambargah in North Karachi. The blasts caused injuries to around one dozen people, including media personnel and law enforcers. On Muharram 8, three alleged militants of the banned TTP were killed and a Rangers sepoy lost his life during an encounter with law enforcers in Gulshan-e-Bunair in Quaidabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2013.


Raj - USA | 9 years ago | Reply

News like these make me very happy and I read it over and over again. The judiciary and courts have been a major problem and they still are.

Realist | 9 years ago | Reply Salute to the LEAs. We are eternally indebted to your service and sacrifice.
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