The suspects allegedly wanted to kill 15 people, including a well-known Mufti, before Eid Karachi Sindh’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed arresting six members of a banned sectarian outfit in the city on Thursday who were said to be involved in killings and were planning to target 15 people, including a well-known Mufti, before Eidul Fitr.
CTD Additional Inspector General Sanaullah Abbasi said the investigation wing of his department made the arrests after it had been assigned the task of apprehending elements involved in creating a law and order situation in Karachi.
Inspector Chaudhry Safdar led a team during raids in Central and West districts and arrested the six men after encounters.
Those arrested were identified as Mohammad Ali alias Amir alias Sattar alias Siddiq, Syed Sheraz Ali Rizvi alais Hussain, Syed Hamid Abbas Naqvi alias Rajab Ali, Syed Israr Ali alias Nisar Ahmed alias Rehman alias Chacha, Pervez Hussain alias Ramzan and Mohammad Mumtaz Bhutto alias Nasir.
Five hand grenades, a 9mm pistol and five 30-bore pistols were found on the suspects, Abbasi said.
He said the terrorists belonged to a banned outfit and were tasked with targeting leaders, workers and supporters of a religious party.
All the suspects were said to be trained to closely follow their targets, had grown long beards to be able to mix with them and used to attend religious congregations and visit Siddiq-e-Akbar Masjid in North Karachi for Friday prayers.
During their stay in the religious circle, the suspects allegedly identified several leaders, workers and sympathisers of the religious party as their targets. Moreover, on the orders of their leaders, the terrorists used to attend religious programmes in mosques and processions. They also used to chase diehard workers of the rival party and after noticing their movement they sent the details to their organisation.
A joint interrogation team formed to keep an eye on the suspects marked them as “black” in a report.
Abbasi said that in order to attend religious programmes of the rival party, the suspects also hid their identities by obtaining fake CNICs.
Moreover, the six men had prepared a list of about 200 people as targets and they were funded by foreign actors for waging a proxy war in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi.
Abbasi said that in the year 2012 the terrorists along with their other associates attacked the convoy of Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, in which four policemen and two citizens were killed. In the attack, Maulana Farooqi, ASI Ashfaq Cheema and Abdul Rehman were injured.
In the year 2015, the suspects along with their associates targeted DR Fayyaz Khan in the SITE-B area.
Three militants killed
The Sindh Rangers claimed to have gunned down three militants – two associated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and one with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi – in an encounter in the city’s Lyari area on Thursday.
A spokesman of the paramilitary force said intelligence-driven raids were conducted at suspected hideouts in Tughlaq Lane near Adam Tea Road, Chakiwara.
It was said that the raiding teams were met with stiff resistance and, after an extensive shootout, three suspects were killed, though their associates apparently managed to flee the area.
The killed terrorists were identified as Khan Darwaish and Mohammed Arshad Khan of the TTP, while the third was identified as Habibullah of the LeJ.
Among the weapons, ammunition and explosives recovered were improvised explosive devices which were recovered during a search of their hideout. Later, the area police was called in for a further search of the area. It was said that the recovered weapons included Kalashnikovs, ball bearings and suicide jackets. Further investigations were underway.