Law enforcement agencies kill two suspects after deadly blasts
Pakistan’s largest city and commercial hub Karachi has been in the grip of terror recently.
On May 16, an improvised explosive device (IED) killed a woman and injured 11 others in Boltan Market. A similar IED blast in the Saddar area had left a teenage boy dead and injured nine others on May 12.
On May 17, the Sindh Counter Terrorism Department killed two suspected militants belonging to the Sindudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) during raid to their hideout.
Law enforcement agencies say a nexus of banned separatist organisations, particularly the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and the Sindudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA), is behind the bombings.
“The terrorist organisations have adopted an old modus operandi with a slight change. Earlier, they would detonate the bombs with the help of mobile phone SIMs. However, the government measures regarding the closure of the unverified SIMs have made this difficult. So, the terrorists have started using remote-control devices to carry out similar bombings,” officials say.
However, this allows the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to trace the terrorists who carry out the bombings.
In the Saddar blast, the explosive device had been planted on a bicycle. Using footage from a CCTV camera located in the area, police later identified a man who was sitting nearby and seemed to have triggered the bomb. CTD in-charge Mazhar Mashwani says the suspect, Allah Dino, was killed in the May 17 raid on their hideout. He said Dino was the main suspect in the Saddar bomb blast.
According to details, intelligence agencies and the CTD conducted a joint operation in Maripur area of Karachi during which terrorists present in the area opened fire. The law enforcement agencies returned the fire due to which two terrorists were killed. The killed terrorists were later identified as Allah Dino and Nawab. The CTD said two other terrorists had managed to flee from the scene.
The terrorist organisations have used an old modus operandi with a slight change. Earlier, they would detonate the bombs with the help of mobile SIMs. However, the government measures regarding the closure of the unverified SIMs have made this difficult now. So, the terrorists have started using remote-control devices to carry out bombings.
“The terrorist organisations are now using remote control devices following the government actions against the unregistered mobile phone SIMs,” a senior officer revealed. “And this was the reason to block the unregistered SIMs. The prohibition has caused a decline in the number of blasts carried out by the terrorists.”
“The separatist organisations are behind these attacks,” says a senior officer of the Counter-Terrorism Department of the Sindh Police, Raja Umer Khattab. “These two blasts – Saddar and Boltan Market were similar but the Karachi University blast was unlike these. The targets were different.”
Additional IG Ghulam Nabi Memon has directed officers to expand their intelligence network to preempt such attacks.
He also directed the intelligence officers at all police stations to check hotels and the people staying there and register their bio-data and also gather information on the people who have recently rented houses in the city.
Earlier, on April 26, three Chinese instructors and a Pakistani van driver lost their lives and four others were wounded when a woman detonated the explosive vest she was wearing near the University of Karachi.
The BLA had claimed responsibility for the KU blast. The Saddar bombing was claimed by the SRA. However, no militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the Boltan Market blast.
Following the May 16 attack, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif had condemned the incident and said that enemies of people’s lives and property will be dealt with an iron hand. He had offered condolences to the family of the deceased woman and the injured and directed the chief minister to provide the best medical facilities possible to the injured. He had directed law enforcement agencies to apprehend those involved in the incident immediately. He had also assured the Sindh government that the federal government would extend its full support in doing so. “All provinces should improve security arrangements to ensure protection of lives and property of the people,” he had said.
The writer is Karachi based journalist, covering crime, terrorism and syndicate from the past two decades for different national and international media. He can be reached on Twitter @farazjourno