Karachi violence: Taliban commander arrested
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 00:32
Karachi: Pakistani police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a key Taliban commander in connection with the violence in this city that has been hit by gang warfare since the last two years.

In what is being seen as an interesting development, the Karachi police said they had arrested a key commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan who was involved in instigating violence in Lyari area of the city.

The Central Investigation Department (CID) police said that Commander Ali Imran was arrested in a raid.

"He was linked to attacks on security forces in Wana, Waziristan and was also involved in instigating violence in Lyari, and had also been involved in several robberies," senior police official, Aslam Khan said.

A heavy cache of weapons was also recovered during the raid, he said.

Lyari was yet again the hotbed of violence yesterday when around six people were killed in firing between rival gangs.

Interior minister, Rehman Malik on a recent visit to Karachi hinted that they were signs of Taliban elements being involved in the violence in Orangi Town and Qasba colony which were the worst hit areas. The recent spate of violence in Karachi has claimed around 108 lives.

Security officials are also investigating possible links between local criminal gangs and religious outfits in Karachi with Taliban groups.

"There are definite signs of some connectivity in Karachi between local criminal gangs and some religious extremist groups with Taliban who are well organised and this could be the reason for the upsurge in violence in the city," an official said.

According to security officials, around 250 high- profile terrorists from various banned outfits were arrested from the city between 2001 and 2011.

The most (94) were from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which have attacked Shite' Muslims in the past and is an offshoot of the banned dreaded Sipah-e-Sahaba outfit.

As many as 40 detained extremists belonged to Harkatul Mujahideen al Alami (HuMAA), another outfit with strong al Qaeda links.

Recalling some recent arrests that the CID made from various parts of the troubled city, the official said interrogations from the detained persons revealed that they work as a "very well gelled together" network and seek commands from their mentors in the tribal areas.

Militants from four Pakhtun tribes, Mehsud, Wazir, Mohmand and Barki are known as the affiliates of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the rest belonging to other groups are called the Punjabi Taliban, said the official quoting a terrorist he had interrogated.

He added that for some time now, militants had been operating as a group having a permanent commander for the city and very well-defined command structures to streamline their activities.


First Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 00:32

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