Explosives recovered near Pir Chambal shrine
CHAKWAL: In a joint operation, police from Jhelum, Chakwal, Pind Dadan Khan and Khushab along with Elite Force commandoes recovered explosives and other material under the use of terrorists near the shrine of Pir Chambal.
The items were traced by the teams led by senior police officers, including the DPO of Chakwal, from a small cave about five kilometres from the shrine.
The recovered goods included around five kilogrammes of high explosive, plastic explosives along with live fuse attached to it and items of personal use in four bags.
Some other items, including a bucket and a wall clock, which probably had been stolen from the shrine, were found placed deep inside a rock opening.
“The situation indicates that the belongings were the personal items of the criminals who had been hiding in the shrine and who are responsible for the killing of four federal intelligence officials and their local guide on Saturday,” said a police officer present at the site.
The bodies of the victims were found in the compound of Pir Chambal shrine. “Since all of them are not hardened terrorists – some are even petty criminals – it seems logical to assume that someone had stolen the wall clock from the shrine.”
The police search operation continued in the area to find clues to the terrorists. Apart from the regular police force from the adjoining districts and the Elite Force personnel sent from Rawalpindi, who searched the surrounding areas, the whole shrine was screened by a team of Punjab Forensic Scientific Agency which arrived in the area from Lahore.
After the recovery of high-explosive powder in a special plastic briefcase, the bomb disposal experts were called to the hilltop for its safe carriage which even had wires for detonation.
“They had placed live plastic explosive along with the fuse wires attached at the mouth of the hiding place possibly to act as a mine or a booby trap,” another police officer said. “We can only thank the Almighty that the device did not work.”
While the police operation launched on Saturday has been limited to a few kilometres around the shrine, the presence of their belongings some five kilometres away from the crime scene in the remote and wild area showed the ability of the terrorists to melt down in the wilderness.
“There are chances that the terrorists might be hiding in caves just a few hills away,” a police constable said.
Mohammad Asghar adds from Rawalpindi:
A joint investigation team, comprising intelligence, counterterrorism wing and police officials, has been constituted to probe into the killing of the intelligence officials. The JIT visited the scene and investigated some local people regarding the incident.
Sources said a few suspects had also been taken into custody by the security agencies though none of them has been formally arrested so far.
A senior law enforcement agency official said temporary `pickets` were being established in the hilly area.
According to security sources, eight sections of Elite Force commandoes from Rawalpindi, each comprising five personnel, had been sent to Pir Chambal where they started the search operation and also set up the pickets.
The post-mortem on the bodies of the five victims showed that they were shot in the chest and the bodies bore multiple bullet injuries.
Though there were no torture marks on the bodies, one of the victims had scalds on his foot which looked like burn injuries.