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Cases of Sabri’s murder, Majlis killings, attacks on army, police solved

November 08, 2016

Two LeJ terrorists nabbed in Karachi with huge cache of arms

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah announced on Monday the arrest of two terrorists belonging to the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), who were allegedly involved in high-profile killings, including the murders of Military Police personnel and the famous Qawwal Amjad Sabri. The suspects also admitted to involvement in 20 target killings over the past year, including the murders of five people at a majlis in Nazimabad No4 on October 29 this year. They had also lobbed a grenade at a majlis in the FC Area on October 17, in which an 11-year-old boy was killed and over a dozen other people were wounded.

The chief minister made the announcement at a media briefing at the Central Police Office (CPO), Karachi, where Adviser to the CM on Information Maula Bux Chandio, Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) A D Khowaja, Karachi’s Additional IG Mushtaq Mehar, Sindh CTD Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi, CTD Intelligence SSP Omer Shahid Hamid, Raja Umer Khattab and other senior officials were also present.

Shah said the arrests followed his directives to law enforcement agencies to carryinvolved in killings in the recent terrorist attacks.He added that an intelligence wing of the CTD, led by Raja Umer Khattab, in-charge of the Transnational Terrorists Intelligence Group (TTIG), conducted a raid on a hideout in the Liaquatabad area. After facing resistance, they arrested two men, Ishaq alias Bobi and Asim alias Capri, and shifted them to their headquarters. A huge cache of weapons was said to have been seized during the search of the hideout.

During preliminary interrogations, the suspects admitted to their involvement in 20 target killings over the past year, including the murders of five persons at a majlis in Nazimabad No4 on October 29 this year. They said they lobbed a grenade at a majlis in the FC Area on October 17, in which an 11-year-old boy was killed and over a dozen other people were wounded.

They further admitted that they shot dead two Military Police personnel near the Parking Plaza in Saddar on July 26, renowned Qawwal Amjad Sabri on June 23, and two traffic police officers at Ayesha Manzil on May 21.

The LeJ terrorists were also said to be involved in the murders of seven policemen while they were performing polio duty in Orangi Town on April 20, 2016. They said they killed two Military Police personnel near the Tibet Centre on December 1, 2015, four Rangers personnel in Ittehad Town on November 20, 2015, and Advocate Syed Ameer Haider of the Supreme Court at Hassan Square on August 29 last year.

The chief minister said that the suspects were also involved in the murder of 12 other police personnel and seven members of the Shia community. He added that most importantly, as per the latest forensic report, several of the weapons had matched with the empties found at the scene of crimes and one official SMG and two MP-5s that had been taken from the slain police officers in Orangi and Ayesha Manzil had also been recovered.

Shah said that the biggest menace was terrorism and would be ended with the cooperation of the people of Karachi. Moreover, he said, after the arrest of the terrorists, a major decline would be seen in killings.

The chief minister said that police officials were also carrying out raids for the arrest of the culprits involved in the killing of people belonging to the Sunni community. On a query, he said that the LeJ terrorists were arrested with conclusive evidence.

Shah stated they earlier thought that the killings of Sunni clerics were in reaction to some sectarian killings, including an attack on a majlis in Nazimabad on October 29, but it was not confirmed. In this regard, the police had detained some individuals but after they were not found guilty they were released.

On query about the arrest of former senator Faisal Raza Abidi, he added that Abidi was arrested in an unlicensed weapon case and not over the killings, and Shia scholar Mirza Yousuf was arrested because some FIRs were lodged against him.He said that other suspects arrested during raids would be released if they were found to be innocent but whosoever was found involved would not be spared.

On a query on Amjad Sabri’s murder, the CM the arrested terrorist, Asim alias Capri, was a neighbour of the Qawwal and had murdered Sabri on sectarian grounds. He said the police found the weapon that was used to target Sabri on the suspect. However, he said, the police were still investigating the exact motive behind his murder.

Talking to The News, Raja Umer Khattab, in-charge TTIG of CTD Sindh, said that it was the second biggest case that he had detected after the Sofoora bus attack case.

He said the arrested terrorists belonged to the LeJ’s Naeem Bukhari group, which was involved in the killings of law enforcers and committing several other crimes. He said they had also recovered weapons that were snatched from the police officers after their murders.

Khattab said that after the arrest of their commander, Naeem Bukhari, the suspects met Saleh Rehmani (cousin of Naeem Bukhari), who provided them weapons and explosive material. After getting the weapons, they went underground for some period and went to Wadh, Balochistan, where one Maaz provided them shelter.

The accused disclosed that learning from their past, they turned their group into a smaller one and utilised two individuals for terrorist activities.Moreover, he said, they also planned to use new weapons in each high-profile killing so that the law enforcement agencies remained confused.

It was further disclosed by the terrorists that they used a pouch-fitted weapon so that law enforcers couldn’t find the spent bullet shells.Khattab said that the terrorists took shelter in a highly populated area inside a flat in Liaquatabad and informed locals of the area that they were doing business of plastic bags. They also rented a shop where they used to plan terrorists attacks.

He added that the accused had also murdered four policemen in Korangi’s G-Area, three policemen in Bangoria Goth, Azizabad, a policeman in Karimabad, two policemen near Minaar Chowk, Bahadurabad, and two policemen in Hyderi Market area.

The suspects also murdered two Shia community members in the Tori Bangash area of Orangi Town, a man and his son from the Shia community in Raees Umrao Colony, Orangi Town, and two more Shia community members in Nazimabad and Sabri Chowk areas.

They police recovered three sub-machine guns, 17 9mm pistols, 10 30-bore pistols, and two MP-5s snatched from policemen after murdering them at Ayesha Manzil and Bangoria Goth, three revolvers, seven hand grenades, nine silencers of KK and pistols, six remote controls, 11 pistol bags, 30 detonators, 12 small detonators, three uppers, two motorcycles used in offences, a pipe bomb, four plates of nut bolts, 20 kilograms of nut bolts and ball bearings and detonating cords.