Pakistan police arrests Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leader

Pakistani police have arrested the last main leader of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi sectarian militant group.

PTI| Updated: Oct 23, 2015, 14:59 PM IST

Lahore: Pakistani police have arrested the last main leader of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi sectarian militant group.

After the death of LeJ chief Malik Ishaq, his two sons and 11 other activists in a shootout with police this July in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province, Haroon Rashid Bhatti said to be the "last main leader" of LeJ who was leading the outfit from Dubai has also been nabbed.

The Punjab police had placed a Rs 2.5 million bounty on his head.

The Punjab police's Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) with the help of Interpol arrested Bhatti along with his four accomplices - Ahmed Yar, Ghulam Mustafa, Tariq Nawaz Dhilon and Ayaz Ahmed - in Dubai and brought them to Lahore yesterday.

CIA chief Umer Virk said that Bhatti is the last top leader of LeJ and after his arrest "there is no other potential activist to lead this militant organisation".

He said Bhatti is a founding member of LeJ and a close associate of Malik Ishaq.

"Bhatti and his accomplices had planned to attack Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Muharram processions," Virk disclosed.

He said Bhatti and other suspects were involved in a number of terror attacks in Lahore and elsewhere.

Virk said they were also involved in the killing of 25 people when they opened indiscriminate firing at a funeral gathering of Shias in Lahore some years ago.

Virk said the suspects were also involved in attacks on journalist Raza Rumi and playwright Asghar Nadeem Syed.

He said the suspects are also behind the killing of police officer Tariq Kambo, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat leader Maulana Shamsur Rehman Moavia and prominent Shia personalities.

The suspects have been shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.