Monday, November 19, 2012

Arrested ‘TTP militant’ warns of Muharram attacks

KARACHI: Four suicide bombers are ready to carry out attacks at Muharram processions in Karachi, a suspected militant has told intelligence officials during interrogation.

Akhtar Mehsud, an alleged member of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was arrested in a raid in Kunwari Colony of Manghopir. A suicide jacket, one walkie-talkie set, a few cameras, computers, hand grenades and weapons were also seized in the operation, police sources told The Express Tribune.

During interrogation, the suspect warned of attacks during the first 10 days of Muharram, claiming that four suicide bombers are already present in Karachi. Rickshaws and motorcycles are expected to be used to launch attacks, especially between Muharram 8 and Muharram 10.

Akhtar Mehsud was allegedly involved in attacks on security forces in the tribal areas. He is also being questioned about his group’s link to the blast at the Rangers residential complex in North Nazimabad that killed three Rangers and wounded several others. A few accomplices of the suspect were also arrested later.

SHO Nasir Mehmood neither confirmed nor denied the arrest. “Nothing can be said about this at the moment,” he said.

‘Target killers’ arrested

The Crime Investigation Department’s Anti-Extremist Cell (AEC) claims to have arrested an alleged target killer associated with an “ethnic group” of Sindh.

Asghar Ali was arrested from Shershah in a raid, AEC officials said. A hand grenade and a TT pistol were also seized from the suspect.

During interrogation, Asghar Ali confessed his involvement in the targeted killings of six people, including a Muttahida Qaumi Movement worker, in Karachi.

Another suspected target killer was detained in a raid in the Surjani area. The accused identified as Zafar, according to police, was involved in targeted killings of at least six political activists.

Rangers also detained at least two political workers from Liaquatabad for their alleged involvement in targeted killings across Karachi. They were shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2012.

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