Taliban militants planning Muharram attacks held
Lahore: Pakistani police have arrested five alleged members of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan who were planning to carry out attacks in Punjab province during the Islamic holy month of Muharram.
Punjab Police chief Haji Habibur Rehman said police in Multan district arrested the terrorists linked to a Taliban faction led by Qari Yasin during a recent operation.
He said the faction based at Miranshah in North Waziristan was involved in several terror attacks in Punjab and other parts of the country.
The arrested men were identified as Imtiaz Nazir, Muhammad Ramzan, Muhammad Imran, Amir Moavia and Habib.
They all belong to Dera Ismail Khan.
Two Kalashnikovs, three 30-bore pistols and 105 bullets were recovered from their possession.
The police chief said Abdul Ghaffar alias Qari Saifullah, a key commander of this faction, was killed in a shootout with police in Dera Ghazi Khan on August 1.
He too was wanted by Punjab Police for several banks robberies and terror attacks.
The third key member of this group was Imran Gandapur of Dera Ismail Khan and he was in-charge of terror activities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
He killed a police constable before he was shot dead with his accomplices during a gun battle with the police.
Following the killing of Gandapur, Iqbal Rashid alias Rashu had become operational in-charge of Qari Yasin faction.
To take revenge for the killing of Gandapur, Rashu had planned killings of security personnel of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Rashu is the main accused who had masterminded a suicide attack on the police chief of Dera Ismail Khan district, the killings of several police constables, an attack on members of the Shia community and recent terror attacks in Punjab.
Officials further said the arrested men were involved in a recent attack on Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa prison officials who were being trained in Lahore.