Friday January 27, 2023

Police figure out escape route of Saddar dental clinic attackers

October 09, 2022

Police investigators looking into the attack carried out at a dental clinic in the Saddar area a few days ago have figured out the escape route of the assailants. A thorough investigation is being conducted into the escape of the attackers involved in targeting Pakistanis with Chinese origin.

The CCTV camera footage of the attackers’ escape obtained by the investigators have revealed that the assailants continued to travel for more than 23 kilometres after completing their swift operation, but no one was there to signal them to stop during their long escape route.

Let that sink in for a minute — the assailants were able to travel 23 kilometres, carrying a murder weapon, without any fear of being stopped by the law enforcers, despite the fact that regular snap checks and patrolling are carried out in the city.

Different agencies, including the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Sindh police, are investigating the case from different aspects, including that of terrorism.

Besides recording the statements of the surviving victims as well as eyewitnesses, the investigators have also been using different methods to probe the case, such as obtaining CCTV camera footage and conducting geo-fencing to figure out the route and communication of the assailants.

In a major development, the investigators were able to figure out the escape route of the attackers with the help of CCTV camera footage. Obtained from the busiest thoroughfares of the city, these footage revealed that the attackers used a long route to escape after their swift operation.

“The assailants escaped towards Quaidabad while passing through the Mazar-e-Quaid, Allah Wali Chowrangi and Sharea Faisal areas,” senior anti-terror officer of the CTD Raja Umer Khattab confirmed while talking to The News. “But it is yet to be ascertained if they went in Quaidabad or somewhere else after Quaidabad.”

The investigators have also been conducting geo-fencing of the escape route of the attackers, but it will take some more time. “We have reached close to them, and they will be behind bars soon,” said Khattab.

The CTD had registered a case against the outlawed Sindhudesh Peoples Army, said to be a coalition of Sindhi and Baloch separatist outfits, over attacking a Pakistani dentist couple with Chinese origin and their cashier on September 28 after the group claimed responsibility for the attack on social media.

Even though the case has been registered against the banned separatist group, the investigators are still trying to ascertain the authenticity of the claim made by them.

The investigators have also enhanced their intelligence network to trace and arrest the suspects, while the suspects belonging to nationalist groups already arrested in the past are also being questioned to get any possible clue to help with probing the case. The investigators have also obtained the ballistics cross-matching report of the empties recovered from the dental clinic. The investigation into the gun attack on the dental clinic has revealed that the suspects had used a new weapon to carry out the attack.

Police investigators said that the casings were sent to the forensic division of the Sindh police to assess if the weapon used in the attack had been used for another crime. The forensic division’s report suggested that the attackers had used a new weapon.

One of the two unidentified assailants had opened fire inside the dental facility near the Saddar Empress Market, killing one person and injuring two others. Although the victims were of Chinese ethnicity, Beijing has clarified that they were not Chinese citizens.

The main assailant was wearing a red cap, and dark blue trousers and shirt. After firing, he managed to escape with his accomplice, who had parked his motorbike at the corner of Preedy Street towards MA Jinnah Road.

The cashier at the dental clinic was killed, while the dentist and his wife were seriously wounded when the man posing as a patient, wearing a surgical mask, entered the clinic in the busy commercial area of Saddar and opened fire on the victims.

At around 4:05pm, the unidentified person came to the private dental clinic of Dr Richard Hu on Preedy Street and sat down in the waiting area.

After about 15 to 20 minutes, he entered the clinic area and opened fire on Dr Richard Hu, his wife Phen Teyin and their assistant Ronald Raymond Chou with a 9mm pistol. As a result, the couple suffered bullet injuries while their employee Chou died on the spot.

Dr Hu has been running his private clinic in this area for more than 40 years. The three victims hold dual nationality of China and Pakistan. The couple lives in the Park Lane area of Clifton, while the deceased was a resident of the Karachi cantonment area.