DERA GHAZI KHAN:
Police and intelligence officials arrested three men believed to be members of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) from a mosque near Circuit House on Thursday.
DPO Ghulam Mubashir Maikan told The Express Tribune a team from the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) had raided the mosque on information gleaned from suspects arrested in Lahore and Jatoi a few days ago.
He said Saiful Islam, a resident of Rajanpur, Javed Iqbal, a resident of Kamra, and Ghulam Sarwar Afghani, an Afghan immigrant based in Faisalabad, had been arrested from Umar Farooq Mosque near Circuit House. He said after initial interrogation, the men had been taken to an undisclosed location for further questioning. He said the men belonged to Al-Farooq, a sub-group of the TTP.
The DPO said grenades, pistols and a cache of explosives had been seized in the raid. He said after the men were arrested, the Bomb Disposal Squad had done a sweep of the building before it was sealed.
The DPO said during interrogation, the men had confessed to planning attacks on intelligence officials and government buildings in Dera Ghazi Khan. He said they had been planning an attack on Sakhi Sarwar police post when they were arrested.
He said the CTD had found maps of government buildings and a manifesto of Al-Farooq during a search of the mosque.
He said the CTD in Multan had registered a case against them under Explosives Act, the Anti-Terrorism Act and Protection of Pakistan Ordinance. He said a military court would be moved for their remand.
He said Saiful Islam had been a student of King Edward Medical University (KEMU) though he had not graduated due to poor attendance.
He said security in Dera Ghazi Khan had been heightened after the raid. He said police had set up pickets across the division and were monitoring traffic entering and leaving the zone. He said policemen had been told that negligence would not be tolerated.
“Any attempts to disrupt law and order or cause harm to citizens will be thwarted,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2015.