Fazlullah’s aide among 2 held in Mansehra
MANSEHRA: Battagram police on Monday arrested two militants linked with Maulana Fazlullah-led Swat Taliban group and seized a cache of arms and ammunition along with maps and other documents. Battagram DPO Ghulam Hussain told a news conference here that Mohammad Iqbal alias Qari Basit and Ijazul Haq were arrested in Ghagbori area when they were shifting weapons and explosives from Battagram to Torghar.
He said the arms and ammunition, including an antiaircraft gun, three rifles, seven Kalashnikovs, 12 pistols, 22 hand grenades, 42 detonators, suicide jackets and 115kg high–quality explosive, was buried outside a mosque.
The DPO said Qari Basit was the in charge of the Swat Taliban militant group for Hazara and Shangla and that he masterminded suicide attack on MNA Amir Muqam in Battagram and the bombing of a police convoy in Torghar that left 12 policemen dead.
He said during preliminary investigation, Qari Basit had revealed that he and his brother had shifted Tehrik–i–Taliban Swat chief Maulana Fazlullah to Afghanistan after he was injured in an army attack and that he was holed up in Afghan province of Kunar coordinating militant activities on both sides of the border.
Mr Ghulam Hussain said Qari Basit and his accomplices had planned attacks on police headquarters in Torghar and army headquarters in Kabulgram area of Swat on the orders of Maulana Fazlullah.
He said one of Qari Basit’s brothers was Maulana Fazlullah’s bodyguard.
Later, police produced the arrested militants before reporters blindfolded. The reporters were also showed arms and ammunition.
Also in the day, 17 members of a family, including four women and three children, were injured after their vehicle hit a roadside wall due to brake failure near Balakot.
The vehicle was bound for Charsadda from Naran.
Locals shifted the injured to the Civil Hospital in Balakot from where they were referred to King Abdullah Teaching Hospital in Mansehra.
Balakot police registered a case and began investigation.