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LJ militant shot dead, four others held in Korangi

By Imtiaz Ali 2017-03-07
KARACHI: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of police on Monday claimed to have killed a suspected militant associated with a banned outfit and detained four of his accomplices after an `encounter` at their hideout in Korangi.

The CTD also claimed to have seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition besides 2,000 kilograms of explosive material and chemicals.

According to officials, the suspects were involved in major terrorist acts and were planning to carry out more attacks in the metropolis.

Dildar, alias Chacha, an expert in bomb making, was the head of a `sleeper cell` of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (Naeem Bukhari group), said DIG Amir Faroogi while addressing a press conference at the CTD Civil Lines office.

He said a CTD team acting on information conducted a targeted raid in Mehran Town of Korangi in the early hours of Monday. After an exchange of fire, the militant, identified as Dildar alias Chacha, was killed and four others were apprehended.

The officer said that on identification of the detained militants, a huge quantity of explosive material, arms and ammunition were seized from the location.

Accompanied by CTD SSP Omer Shahid Hamid, DIG Faroogi said they had received information that `sleeper cells` of jihadi and sectarian outfits were planning terror att acks in the me tropolis. They also received information that the banned militant outfit was planning a `major terror act` in Karachi after the recent arrest of two LJ militants, Asim `Capri` and Ishaq `Bobby`, in the murder case of famed Qawwal Amjad Sabri and the conviction of LJ chief Naeem Bukhari and his accomplices.

The DIG said that a special team, led by CTD TTIG official in-charge Raja Umer Khattab, had recently unearthed a `big network` of LJ activists who were well-trained and possessed funds for and expertise in bomb making to carry out a major attack.

Major acts of terror The CTD officer said Dildar and the held militants were involved in over one dozen major terrorist acts in the city from2010 to 2014.

Some of the acts included the 2010 motorbike bomb attack on a bus of mourners heading to the Chehlum procession of Imam Hussain near Shahrah-i-Quaideen flyover and a massive attack on CID Civil Lines in which three suicide bombers were used the same year.

`These militants were also facilitators of terror attack on PAF Base Mehran in 2011, said DIG Faroogi. He added that they also carried out bomb attacks on the vehicles of naval officials in DHA Phase II and on Sharea Faisal the same year.

The following year, they attacked a bus with a bomb fitted in a rickshaw in which members of the Shia community were travelling near Delhi Colony.

LJ generates funds through drugs The officer believed that Naeem Bukhari had divided the LJ into different sections under a well-thought-out strategy. In December 2014, he established a sleeper cell of the LJ, comprising militants involved in targeted killings, bomb making and providing financial assistance.

It emerged that LJ militants were `involved in interprovincial drug trade` to generate funds for carrying out terror acts, he added.About the identity of the four held militants, CTD SSP Omer Shahid Hamid told the media that it might not be advisable at this moment to disclose their identity, as the CTD team was in the field to arrest their accomplices.

Dildar`s profile CTD official Raja Umer Khattab told Dawn that Dildar, originally hailing from Mansehra, was father-in-law of the recently held IJ militant, Ishaq Bobby.

Dildar, a plumber by profession, became an expert of bomb making after joining the militant outfit, he added.

His father had remained a civilian employee of Pakistan Navy while his brother was a policeman who was killed by his `friends` over a brawl after consuming alcohol in 2008, said the CTD official.

Dildar had joined the banned militant outfit Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan in 2000.

Some 10 years later he was persuaded by another militant, Imran Bhatti, to join the LJ. They both got training in Waziristan.

The same year they returned to the hideout in Mehran Town which was raided on Monday, the official said, adding that they used to prepare bombs at the location.

Mr Khattab recalled that Imran Bhatti was once arrested after the bomb attack onthe house of slain CTD SSP Chaudhry Aslam in Defence but was later released on ball. Almost a week after being released from jail, Imran was allegedly killed by Dildar over `some internal differences`.

Later, Naeem Bukhari established a `sleeper cell` led by Dildar for carrying out bomb attacl(s while another sleeper cell was led by held militants Ishaq Bobby and Asim Capri, for carrying out targeted killings.

Mr Khattab said Dildar was planning to `activate the sleeper cell` to carry out bomb blasts but the CTD carried out the raid and killed him.

The officer explained that the LJ Naeem Bukhari group was a sectarian outfit involved in bomb blasts, while other LJ factions were involved in targeted killings on sectarian grounds. The group led by Bukhari was linked with the banned Al Qaeda and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

`In a way ... Naeem Bukhari, was more dangerous than LJ chief Malil( Ishaq, who was killed in an encounter in Punjab last year. He carried out terror attacks not only on sectarian basis but also for other motives being linked with the TTP and Al Qaeda, commented the CTD official.

`With the killing of Dildar and arrest of his accomplices, we can say now that the Bukhari-led LJ`s capacity of bomb attacks has been eliminated,` said the official.

Additional IG Dr Sanaullah Abbasi, who heads the CTD in Sindh, told Dawn that they had requested the home department to constitute a joint interrogation team to question the held militants.

The CTD chief said the seized arms and explosives would be sent for forensic analysis.

2,000kg of explosive material Meanwhile, as per a CTD statement, 2,000kg of explosive material was seized from the hideout besides recovery of Russian-made RPG, eight pieces of mortar shells,onehandgrenade,one suicidejacket in ready condition with 12kg explosives, one antiterrorism mine, 150 detonators, 100 detonators (non-electric), 25 chemical strike detonators, five improvised explosive devices (IEDs) of different types, one `block bomb` IED, 100 electronic circuits, 10kg ball bearings, seven `block bomb` metals, 1,500 pieces of hand grenade RGD parts and chemicals.