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Tuesday Sep 05 2017

Video, pictures of Khawaja Izhar attacker give new turn to case

Man tortured to death shortly after the attack (left) and the assailant who opened fire on Khawaja Izhar (right). — Geo News

KARACHI: A comparison of pictures and video released of the assassination attempt on Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan has given a new turn to the case.

The assailant, who was captured on the video firing on the MQM-P leader, was wearing a full-sleeved shirt with gloves, whereas the man killed at some distance from the attack site was wearing a t-shirt, as per released pictures.

The comparison has raised several questions about the assailant who opened fire on the MQM-P leader and the man who was tortured to death shortly after the attack.

Police are searching for the suspected mastermind of the Eid-day attack on Khawaja Izharul Hassan, the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly. 

Police said that banned outfit Ansarul Shariah's commander, Sarosh Siddiqui, who escaped a police raid on Monday, is the mastermind of the attack and a student of Karachi University.

Sources say this was Siddiqui's last year to pass otherwise he would've been kicked out. — Geo News

Police are conducting raids across the city to nab Siddiqui, who is on the run. Sources said several persons have been arrested in the raids, including an MSc student. 

Meanwhile, Dawood University of Engineering and Technology confirmed on Tuesday that one of its officials, too, was involved in the attack on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader.

Sources said Hassaan Israr, one of the attackers who was reportedly beaten up by witnesses and then shot in the head by police, worked in the university's electrical engineering department as a lab technician.

He had obtained a BA degree from a local university and his father is a teacher at another university, sources said further. Law enforcement personnel have taken his entire education record into possession as part of their investigation. 

Meanwhile, sources said the KU vice chancellor has decided to share details of students involved in suspicious activities with intelligence agencies for scrutiny after Siddiqui's reported involvement in terrorism. 

Police registered a case today against three suspected terrorists over a police encounter on Monday.

The FIR, lodged at the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), was registered on the complaint of SHO Sohrab Goth. Siddiqui, Muzammil and Mohammad Talha have been nominated as suspects in the FIR.

On Monday, police raided a house in Scheme 33, Rufi Bungalows, Kaneez Fatima Society on a tip-off about the presence of militants. However, the militants present inside opened fire on the raiding party, killing one police official and injuring another. The suspected terrorists also managed to escape from the scene.

Police said Siddiqui, a senior figure of militant outfit Ansarul Shariah, was among those who escaped. 

Siddiqui is said to be the mastermind of the Eid-day attack on Khawaja Izharul Hassan, the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly. 

Later in the day, police teams, led by Malir SSP Rao Anwar, conducted raids across the city, nabbing around a dozen people.

The raids also resulted in another shootout, in which SSP Anwar claimed the death of four suspected terrorists, including a cousin of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Mullah Fazlullah.

Ansarul Shariah

Speaking at Geo Pakistan Tuesday morning, Geo News Karachi Bureau Chief Fahim Siddiqui said Ansarul Shariah is a relatively new, mostly Karachi-based outfit; formed by former members of Daesh and other banned groups.

He said most of its cadres left for Syria to fight in the civil war but returned when the fighting intensified, adding that most of them are thus 'battle hardened'.

The group first made headlines in Karachi in April this year in the targeted killing of a retired army colonel. 

Police officials also believe the group is behind several attacks on police officials in Karachi in the past few months.

Siddiqui also revealed that most of the group’s members come from ‘educated backgrounds’. 


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