Police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on Thursday claimed to have arrested 11 suspected militants, belonging to banned Al-Qaeda in the sub-continent (AQIS) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), after an encounter in Karachi.
“The arrested suspects were planning an attack similar to the one on Karachi airport in Jun 2014, on a vital government building on Shahrah-i-Faisal,” claimed CTD official Ali Raza during a press conference. But the officer did not specify the government building.
Raza identified three held suspects as Mohammed Irshad alias Zahid and Qari Mohammed Hasan, both commanders of AQIS, and Qari Mohammed Akram of the LeJ.
In June 2014, a militant attack on Karachi international airport left 28 people dead, including 10 attackers.
The attack had started when gunmen disguised as police guards stormed the terminal after opening fire with machine guns and a rocket launcher. This attack led to the launching of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in North Waziristan to control growing militancy in the country.
“During initial probe, they admitted they were planning a Karachi airport-like attack on an official building located on Shahra-i-Faisal,” said the officer, adding that they had also planned attacks on senior police officers.
Police also claimed to have seized a huge quantity of explosive material and sophisticated weapons from their custody.
Recovered weapons included one IED-fitted rickshaw, 10 bottle bombs (IEDs), a rocket launcher, five RPGs,10 hand grenades, six red signal rockets (parachute), 20 detonators, two parcel bombs, surgical masks, first aid equipment, two Kalashnikov, 10 TT pistols and other arms and ammunition in addition to banned literature.