Karachi: 3 ‘LeJ, TTP militants’ held
KARACHI: Crime Investigation Department’s counter–terrorism wing claimed on Thursday to have arrested three militants of the banned Lashkar–e–Jhangvi (LeJ) and Tehreek–e–Taliban Pakistan (TTP) from Peerabad. They also recovered a huge cache of weapons and explosives from the detainees’ possession. They said the accused were involved in cases of extortion and target killings.
CID SSP Raja Umer Khattab said they were tipped off about wanted terrorists planning to transport weapons and explosives to Kunwari Colony in Peerabad.
Following that, SSP Khattab ordered his staff to conduct checking in Peerabad, during which police personnel spotted suspicious men travelling in a rickshaw on the Kunwari Colony Road.
On seeing the police, the men opened fire on them, which was retaliated. Shortly, two more suspects arrived on a motorcycle, resulting in a fierce gun battle.
Eventually, the police arrested LeJ’s Shaukat Sardar alias Usman alias Usama, and TTP’s Inamullah alias Barood and Tawakkal alias Wazeree.
However, Basheer Khan Mehsud, Mehfoozullah Azam and an unidentified militant escaped under the cover of fire.
SSP Khattab said the police also recovered two 9mm pistols, a 30–bore pistol and 30kg of explosives from the rickshaw.
The accused told the police that they were transporting the weapons and explosives from Baloch Colony to their hideout in Kunwari Colony.
They had recently rented a house in Kunwari Colony for making bombs and providing logistic support to LeJ and TTP’s expert bomb makers visiting Karachi from Waziristan.
The accused said their chief Basheer Jan Mehsud of Sohrab Goth was instructed by their commander Hakimullah Mehsud to arrange money for attacks by extorting the city’s traders.
In this regard, Basheer Jan Mehsud had formed a group of 14 militants that threaten the city’s businessmen via mobile phone, demanding large amounts of money from them.
If a trader refuses to pay, the militants lob a grenade at their office. If they continue to refuse, they are gunned down.
The accused said activists of a political party provide them with information regarding the city’s businessmen and were working for the TTP.
To protect themselves from the police and Rangers, the activists work under the political party’s name, the SSP said.
Accused Shaukat Sardar said that on Hakimullah Mehsud’s directives, LeJ and TTP are working hand in hand in the city, targeting people of various sects and extorting money out of traders.
He said that he and his accomplices had demanded money from a dry fruits trader in Bahadurabad, but he refused to pay, so they killed the owner, Shehzad, at his shop.
He also confessed murdering Nayyar Zaidi of Pasban–e–Aza near Railway Phatak, Chanesar Goth a few months back.
They had also targeted Syed Aftab Haider on Preedy Street and a Pakistan People’s Party leader in Azam Basti. Their attack on Dr Naeem Haider, however, proved unsuccessful.
SSP Khattab said the accused had collected information on their next possible targets, including an embroider, a United Bank Limited manager, a travel agency owner and a Karachi Electric Supply Company officer.
The SSP said Shaukat Sardar was arrested by the CID in 2004 when he was working for the Asif Ramzi group and used to transport weapons for them.
In 2008, he managed to go free on bail and joined LeJ’s new group of Qasim Rasheed and Waseem Baroodi.
The group leader Rasheed also lent a rickshaw to Sardar so he could easily transport weapons and explosives to their destinations across the city.