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.

PTI



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

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