Eight of their colleagues were killed during Wednesday’s operation in Multan; plot to target BZU foiled; TTP plans to attack educational institutions in Punjab cities
MULTAN/LAHORE: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and an intelligence agency in a joint operation on Thursday night killed the six terrorists who had managed to escape during an operation conducted a day earlier in Multan.
According to sources, Al-Qaeda commander Bilal Latif alias Yasir Punjabi and his accomplices opened fire as the CTD conducted a raid in Muzaffargarh. All the terrorists were killed in the encounter.
Earlier on late Wednesday night, security agencies foiled a plot to attack the Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), killing eight terrorists including those involved in the killing of an intelligence officer and the mastermind of Rawalpindi’s Parade Lane blast. Four terrorists belonged to Sargodha and four were from Lahore.
However, six of their accomplices managed to escape during the operation encounter conducted by the CTD and intelligence officials in Multan.According to sources, a house was raided on a tip-off located on the Nawabpur Road along the eastern bank of River Chenab. Al-Qaeda commander Muneeb Javed alias Qandahari and Tayyab Nawaz alias Hafiz Abdul Mateen had reached Multan along with Muneeb Razzaq alias Abdul Rehman and Zeeshan alias Abu Daujana.
They were planning an attack on the BZU campus and other important places in Multan. Ten others, including Yasir Punjabi, joined them from Multan.As the security agencies encircled them, the Al-Qaeda operatives started firing and hurled hand grenades while also firing rockets, which triggered a gunbattle. Resultantly, eight terrorists were killed but Yasir Punjabi and others fled the scene taking advantage of darkness.
Security sources said Qandahari and Mateen were involved in targeting Brig Fazal Qadri in Sargodha. Mateen was also a mastermind of the Parade Lane attack and one of the founders of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan.
The bodies were shifted to the morgue at Nishtar Hospital, where only four of them – Mateen, Qandahari, Abdul Rehman and Abu Daujana – could be indentified so far. A suicide jacket, two rifles, three hand grenades and two pistols were recovered from the dead terrorists.
On the other hand, security agencies have warned that the important cities in Punjab are facing terror threat, as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has planned to target educational institutions.
The educational institutions in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan are under serious threat in coming days, as the TTP terrorists could also target BZU and Nishtar Medical College. Notorious TTP commander Mullah Umar Mansoor alias Naray has issued directions and sabotage plan to his network. He has assigned his six suicide bombers with the task and sent them to respective locations.
In this scenario, the security agencies have recommended preventive and precautionary security measures at the BZU and Nishtar Medical College, as well as close coordination among the intelligence agencies for sharing information and helping in seizing the terrorists before they could execute the plan.
Meanwhile, heavy contingents of police, law enforcement agencies and senior officials reached the Nishtar hospital, ordered securing the entry/ exit points and stationed policemen on Thursday.
The police did not allow doctors and citizens to enter without showing CNIC. The police officials held a meeting with the hospital administration and recommended for vigilance and tightening security measures. The CTD sources disclosed that the TTP sabotage mission was leaked soon after the encounter in which Al-Qaeda terrorists were killed.
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