KARACHI: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and the city police claim to have killed six suspects during two separate overnight encounters in the outskirts of the metropolis.
Four of them were allegedly involved in one of the country's major terror activities — the Wagah border bombing. Moreover, they were also plotting a major terror activity in the city, said the police.
Nearly 55 people lost their lives and over 100 were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the Pakistan-India border crossing at Wagah after the flag-lowering ceremony in November last year.
Following the blast, Jundullah and the Jamaatul Ahrar affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibilities separately for the attack. Three TTP militants, including the alleged mastermind of the Wagah border bombing, had been killed in an operation conducted by security forces in Lahore in January this year.
In Karachi, four suspects allegedly involved in the bombing were killed when CTD officials conducted a raid at their hideout in Ittehad Town on the night between Thursday and Friday.
CTD officials said the raid was conducted on the basis of intelligence information about the presence of militants at their hideout in Ittehad Town. Upon seeing the CTD team, the militants attacked them with heavy weaponry. As a result, more contingents of police were summoned at the site to counter them.
The in-charge of CTD's anti-extremist cell, Ali Raza, said that all four militants were arrested in an injured condition and succumbed to injuries on the way to the hospital. The deceased militants have yet to be identified but the police said they were affiliated with the Omar Khorasani group of TTP.
The bodies of the deceased militants were shifted to Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth after medico-legal formalities at Civil Hospital, Karachi, where no one came to claim them. CTD officials also claim to have recovered arms and ammunition from their possession.
Separately, two other suspected militants were killed while two policemen were wounded during an exchange of fire in Manghopir. According to the police, the encounter took place when they conducted a raid on the militants' hideout in Sultanabad.
Police officials said that the militants hurled hand grenades on the police and resorted to indiscriminate fire. Resultantly, two policemen identified as Arshad and Ayaz were wounded.
The police retaliated with full force and, after an exchange of fire, two militants were killed. Their companions managed to escape under the cover of fire.
The bodies of the deceased militants were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and later shifted to Edhi morgue for identification. The police also claim to have recovered a huge cache of weapons from their hideout.
Following their escape, an extra contingent of the police conducted a search operation in the area and apprehended nearly one dozen suspects. The detainees were shifted to an undisclosed location. Further investigations are underway.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2015.
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