Police on Sunday claimed to have killed seven suspected militants including the alleged mastermind and facilitators of the attack on CID SP Chaudhry Aslam in January in a raid conducted in Karachi’s Ayub Goth area near Saudabad.
SSP Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed Khan said that acting on a tip-off regarding the presence of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants police cordoned off Ayub Goth in Karachi’s Malir district and conducted a raid in the area. The raiding party came under attack, as militants opened fire and hurled hand grenades, he added.
“There were up to 16 TTP militants present in the house when we raided it,” Anwar told AFP.
He said that police resorted to retaliatory firing during which seven suspected militants were killed. No law enforcer was harmed during the raid.
SSP Rao Anwar said that three of the seven suspected militants had been identified. They included a brother of the suicide bomber who had attacked SP Chaudhry Aslam at the Lyari Expressway in Karachi, another militant who had conducted reconnaissance for the attack and was in contact with the Taliban leadership, and another suspect who had supplied the explosive-laden vehicle for the attack.
“These three militants, who had fled to Saudi Arabia after Aslam’s murder but returned home just recently, were experts of making bombs and suicide vests,” Anwar said.
Police were trying to identify the four others who were killed. At least seven militants fled during the gunfight, he said.
The Mohmand agency chapter of the TTP had claimed responsibility for the January 9 attack in Karachi’s Essa Nagri which killed three police officials including Aslam and wounded at least ten others.
SP Mohammad Aslam Khan, better known as Chaudhry Aslam, was a household name for those who were aware of the city police one way or another.
With 30 years of service in Karachi police, SP Khan was a symbol of success for many and of hatred for others.
The raid came two weeks after a senior police official Farooq Awan, who has been a key player in the police’s fight against terrorist groups in the city since 2001, survived a car bomb attack in Karachi.