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5 TTP men held for suicide attacks in Punjab: minister

By Our Staff Reporter 2015-08-05
LAHORE: Punjab Home Minister retired Col Shuja Khanzada claimed on Tuesday that five accused involved in suicide attacks on a building of a sensitive institution in Model Town, Christian worship places in Youhannabad and Qila Gujjar Singh Police Lines had been arrested.

Addressing a press conference, along with Capital City Police Officer Amin Wains and Additional IG Arif Mushtaq at the Chief Minister`s offices, the minister accused Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan`s Shehryar Mehsud group of being involved in the blasts and said it received necessary material and financial support from India. Raiwind`s Tableeghi Centre was the meeting place of the terrorists, he said.

The accused, he said, had also divulged information about the terrorists` plans for more attacks in Lahore and Karachi.

He said the terrorists arrested so far had disclosed that they were planningto carry out major terrorist attacks in Lahore and Karachi with government institutions, political figures, markets and public places being prime targets.

In reply to a question about the stay of terrorists in Raiwind`s Tableeghi Centre, he said that people from dif ferent parts of the world came to the place and it was impossible to scan each and every person. The terrorists met each other at this place and surveillance had been increased to arrest the suspects, he said, adding that the search operation was part of the National Action Plan.

Col Shuja said that the same group had carried out suicide attacks at the Special Intelligence Unit in Model Town in 2010, worship places of Christians in Youhannabad and outside Qila Gujjar Sigh Police Lines in 2015. The group comprised 10 people and eight of them were facilitators.

The terrorist attacks, he said, had been planned in Afghanistan, from where terrorists reached Waziristan where they were provided necessary material for carrying out the plan.

He said the Shehryar Mehsud group emerged after the TTP got disintegrated and the group developed contacts with India through Afghanistan and was provided material and financial resources.

The group also reported to India, he added.

He said those arrested included Sanaullah of Punjab, an expert in making suicide jackets and fitting explosive material in vehicles.

Two accused -Qari Ilyas and Khalid Zaman alias Taj Ali -met Sana at the Tableeghi Centre to prepare four suicide jackets for Youhannabad attacks. The jackets were prepared in Chungi Amarsadhu.

Other terrorists included Imran Mehsud and Sheikh Qanoon of Sararoga, South Waziristan, and Waqas of Bahawalnagar.Waqas used his national identity card to rent a house in Chungi Amarsadhu, the minister said.

Similarly, Hassan Punjabi of Bahawalnagar also received six months` training in Afghanistan and fought against the army on behalf of the TTP in Fata.

The minister said that Qari Ilyas and Taj Ali showed the terrorists their targets in Youhannabad and watched them from a distance and escaped after the blasts. One accused, Rana Sajid of Bahawalnagar, escaped to Afghanistan and law-enforcement agencies were in touch with Afghan officials for his custody.

Paying tribute to ISI, Col Shuja said that all anti-terrorist actions were intelligence based and were being led by the ISI and that the Counter Terrorism Department was achieving success because of these efforts.

He said that efforts to nab terrorists were not limited to Punjab and work had been carried out from Fata to Karachi.