Peshawar: Anti-militant Lashkar chief among 4 murdered LI claims responsibility
PESHAWAR: An anti–Taliban commander Mohammad Faheemur Rahman, who had raised a pro-government Lashkar to fight the militants, was finally killed along with his three associates here on Wednesday after surviving a number of attacks. The deceased had survived three suicide attacks and four roadside bombings during the last three years. He was the former nazim of the Bazidkhel union council in rural Peshawar and chief of the Amn Lashkar.
The bodies of Faheemur Rahman and his three associates were found dumped in his Land Cruiser jeep that was abandoned by the killers on Dilazak Road near the Ring Road intersection. The three other slain men were identified as Niaz Mohammad, a cousin of Faheemur
Rahman, Altaf, a leader of the Matani Amn Lashkar, and Rahim Bacha, head of the Amn Lashkar in Surizai village. The Mangal Bagh-led militant group, Lashkar–e–Islam (LI) claimed responsibility for assassinating Faheem.
Superintendent of Police (SP) City Asif Iqbal told reporters that the police came to know about the bodies lying in the abandoned vehicle at around 7:00am. He said all four had been shot dead. “They had gone missing two days ago,” he added.
“A police patrolling party noticed in the morning that the car had been parked in the area for a long time. At around 7:00am, the cops went close to the vehicle where they found drops of blood trickling out of it. They then called the bomb disposal unit (BDU) and senior cops,” said an official of the Paharipura Police Station.
He said BDU experts later cleared the vehicle. In it four bodies were found dumped in the rear seat. “One of the bullet-riddled bodies was later identified to be Faheem’s while others were of his associates,” said the policeman.
A source said Faheem, in his 40s, had been missing since Monday after he told his family that he was going for a meeting with some police officials. There are reports that Faheem was accompanied by two policemen who are still missing. The cellular phones of the four men were found switched off since Monday.
Faheem was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard after his funeral prayer, which was offered amid tight security ahead of the scheduled time due to security reasons. He is survived by his widow and four children. The other three men were laid to rest in their respective villages.
The police lodged a case against unknown killers in the Paharipura Police Station after none of the relatives approached the cops to file the first information report as they were busy in Faheem’s funeral rites, a source said.
Faheem had survived a suicide attack on the PAF Road near his village on June 12. Two constables of the special police force were killed while five persons were wounded when the suicide bomber attacked his car.
Faheem also survived several bomb attacks and assassination attempts since 2009. Faheem and his men killed nine LI fighters who reportedly came to attack him in Bazidkhel village in February 2009. In the same month, he survived a bomb attack outside his hujra where six lives were lost.
Later, he survived two attacks, one on the Circular Road in the city and the other in Saddar. More than 24 people were killed in these attacks. Last year Faheem’s colleagues shot dead a man who was said to be a suicide bomber probably sent to target him.
On June 5, Faheem had announced that activities of the Amn Lashkar in Bazidkhel would continue against the militants. Dilawar Khan, leader of another Amn Lashkar in Adezai, had announced in May that they were going to stop activities against militants since the police and the government were not supporting them with manpower and finances.
Our correspondent adds from Bara: The LI announced to release the video of Faheem’s murder soon. Talking to reporters, spokesman for the LI Abu Rasheed Lashkari said: “Faheem was murdered by our three fighters who have returned safe and secure after accomplishing the mission. Faheem’s murder was the revenge of our eight companions who were brutally killed by him in his village Bazidkhel,” the spokesman said.
He rejected the claim made by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) about Faheem’s assassination and said that the letter of warning found with the body of Faheem was issued by the LI on its original letter pad.
Abu Rasheed warned that “the members of Bazidkhel peace lashkar could only be pardoned if they abandon their activities against the mujahiddeen (militants), or else they would be targeted.”