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March 24, 2015

'Sectarian group, TTP behind Friday bombings'

Karachi
Last Friday’s dual terror attacks on a Bohra community mosque and a Rangers patrol mobile were the work of two separate groups, according to city police chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo.
“The investigation teams have been looking into all possible aspects of both the attacks. At this initial stage, we can confirm that the bombing in Arambagh and the attack at Shahrah-e-Noor Jahan were conducted by different groups; except for the fact that bikes were used in both, there are simply no similarities between the two,” Thebo said in a talk with The News on Monday.
Asserting that solid leads have been unearthed regarding the Saleh Masjid attack, he said it was evident that the bombing was the work of a particular banned sectarian outfit but stopped short of naming any organisation. “Some compelling pieces of evidence were found from the scene of the blast which have immensely helped in narrowing the scope of our investigations.”
As for the bike-bomb attack on a Rangers mobile later that night, in which two Rangers personnel and a female passerby were killed, the city police chief cited the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as the prime suspect. “The investigation team managed to gather the bomber’s fingers from the site and his fingerprint samples have been sent for verification to the
National Database Registration Authority (Nadra),” said Thebo.
“Some more body parts, including the attacker’s feet, have also been sent for DNA testing at a laboratory in Islamabad. We expect to receive both, the Nadra and DNA reports, during this week.”
The police chief added that efforts were also being made to ascertain the registration, engine and chassis numbers of the motorcycle used in the attack on Rangers personnel. Thebo said he had also requested the government for access to call-tracking and geo-location facilities to enhance the force’s investigation capacity.
“Not having such invaluable resources at our disposal has been creating significant problems in our investigations and operational work,” he said.

An outsourced attack?
Apart from Karachi’s police head, The News also spoke to an intelligence officer who, speaking on the condition of anonymity, maintained that it was much too early to confirm who exactly was involved in the Rangers patrol mobile attack. However, he too, acknowledged that the banned TTP was being seen as the main suspect.
Interestingly, the officer said other aspects including the possibility of a sub-contracted bomber were also being looked into. “There have been earlier incidents where it was found that suicide bombers were actually purchased from banned outfits to carry out terrorist attacks,” he said.
As per initial reports, the police suspected the involvement of a nexus between the Taliban, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Jundullah and other terrorist outfits, which is already responsible for several sectarian attacks, in the Bohra community mosque bombing.