Karachi: For the first time, Pakistani police have arrested five militants, including a top commander of the newly formed al Qaeda India (AQI) group, which had carried out the deadly terror attack on the country's strategic naval dockyard here in September.
The militants were arrested by the anti-extremist cell of the CID police on Thursday.
The five were also behind the deadly terrorist attack on the naval dockyard in Kemari last September and were planning another attack on the naval facility when arrested, senior CID police official Umar Khattab told PTI.
"They were arrested from the Old Haji camp area near Napier on a intelligence tip off," Khattab said.
He said 10 kilogrammes of explosive material, two rifles, three pistols and some ammunition had also been recovered from their possession.
The suspects were identified as Qari Shahid Usman, Asad Khan, Fawad Khan, Shahid Ansari and Usman, aka Islam.
The official said Qari Shahid Usman was the chief commander of the AQI in Karachi and the group's country head is Asim Umer.
Usman got training in Afghanistan and was also in the past affiliated and Harkatul Jihad al-Islami of Illyas Kashmiri militant who had also fought in Kashmir against Indian forces.
Kashmiri was killed in US drone attack in 2011.
The South Asia wing of al Qaeda was allegedly involved in Karachi dockyard attack in September.
The separate wing AQI was created by the group in September to spearhead militancy in the region.
"Initial investigations have revealed they were behind funding and planning the attack on the Naval dockyard," Khattab said.
Militants aided by some Pakistan navy officials tried to storm the strategic naval dockyard but security forces foiled the assault after a fierce gun-battle in which a naval officer and two militants were killed.
The police in late October had also claimed arresting four al Qaeda militants for masterminding the attack on the old Karachi airport terminal building in June this year.