KARACHI: A local commander of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was apprehended in Karachi along with six of his accomplices during a raid by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police on Friday.
Separately, the department also claimed to have seized a huge cache of arms and weapons on the basis of information provided by workers of a politico-religious outfit already in custody.
The anti-extremist cell (AEC) of the CTD conducted the raid based on a tip-off about the presence of TTP militants at their hideout in Mauripur. AEC officials said that the militants were arrested after an exchange of fire in which no one from either side was hurt, adding that the police also recovered a huge cache of explosives and weapons from the arrested suspects.
The AEC incharge, Ali Raza, said that Haji Sher Muhammad, a local TTP commander, was apprehended along with six others. "Apart from terrorist activities, the militants arrested were involved in extortion in the city," he claimed. "Their commander was also in touch with the TTP Mohmand Agency chief, Khalid Umar Khorasani, and used to generate funds for the organisation by collecting extortion money." He said that Khorasani had ordered them to carry out a major terrorist activity in the city, which they were plotting when they were arrested.
Earlier, the operations wing of the CTD police seized a large cache of weapons on information provided by arrested workers of the Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST). On July 6, the operations wing arrested three suspected target killers allegedly affiliated with the PST during a raid on Kashmir Road. The suspects were identified as Sanwal alias Chirya, Hateem Hussain and Nasir Taqi and three rifle hand grenades, a Kalashnikov and a pistol were also recovered from their possession. Apart from extortion and street crimes, they were also accused of killing at least 20 people, including 13 workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
Based on information given by the detained workers, the police seized a huge cache of weapons that had been stashed at the PMT Room of K-Electric, adjacent to PST headquarters in Risala, late on Thursday night. The weapons recovered included six sub machineguns, three .222 rifles, four repeaters, three pistols, two 8mm rifles, a locally made M-4 rifle, a hand grenade and a large quantity of ammunition.
CTD SSP Usman Bajwa said that the confiscated weapons were to be used in sectarian and political killings. Following the raid, Sindh IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali announced a cash reward of Rs300,000 for the police party.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2015.
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