Gujranwala: Militants arrested, explosives seized after police post hit
GUJRANWALA, March 21: Following a bomb blast on Monday near Rail Bazaar police post that left three people including a sub-inspector injured, police claimed to have nabbed a group of alleged terrorists, seizing a cache of explosive material along with some gadgets and weapons from their `hideout`.
The blast, occurring around 4:15am, also damaged a portion of the non-functional old railway station building situated near the police post, besides smashing windowpanes of some nearby shops.
According to the police, the bomb had been planted near the post by the militants which when exploded critically injured the post in charge SI Haji Karamat Ali, a tea stall owner, Ibrar Shah and his customer Muhammad Zahid.
The injured were shifted to the local district headquarters hospital by Rescue 1122 personnel.
Following the blast, city SP Rai Ijaz Ahmad reached the scene along with a police contingent.
The SP said the blast was apparently the continuation of terrorist attacks on police department buildings in the city.
It is the third blast since February this year, targeting police infrastructure in the city. In the earlier blasts, the office of regional police officer (RPO) and a rest house on the premises of CPO office were targeted.
In a surprise development, within hours of the incident the police claimed to have arrested some suspects involved in the bomb blast from Jalil Town locality and seized bags of explosive material and sophisticated arms from their possession.
Speaking at a press conference in his office, CPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar said the 14 bags, each containing 20kg explosive material, were seized from a house in Jalil Town.
He said a time-device, electronic gadgets used to detonate explosives, gunpowder, four hand grenades, a Kalashnikov, three pistols and extremist literature along with fake beards, were also recovered from the house.
He said the alleged militants had been living in the locality for the last several months along with their families to cover up their activities.
The CPO said the militants had plans to carry out a deadly blast in some crowded part of the city using the huge cache of explosives recovered from them.
He said a search operation would be continued in the city to nab more militants without any discrimination.
Civil Lines SP Ghulam Mubashar Maken, CIA SP Awais Malik, Sadar SP Khurram Shoaib Janbaz and other officers were also present.
Meanwhile, sources told Dawn actually the explosive device had not been planted near the post, as claimed by the police.
According to the sources, the attacker used the overhead bridge to throw an improvised explosive device inside the police post building situated under the bridge. As the device exploded, some sharpnel hit the attacker, leaving him injured.
They said the injured attacker was nabbed by some policemen deployed near the bridge as he was trying to flee the scene by a rickshaw. Later, the police arrested the other militants and recovered the explosives on the identification of the attacker.