Sunday Oct 22 2017

Ansarul Shariah chief among eight terrorists killed: Sindh Rangers

KARACHI: The Rangers have said that the chief of terrorist outfit Ansarul Shariah is among eight terrorists killed in a raid on Thursday night. 

In a press release, the spokesperson of the paramilitary force said the Rangers along with Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials conducted a raid in Raees Goth area of Baldia Town on Thursday night after receiving intelligence reports on the presence of Ansarul Shariah militants. 

Of the eight suspects, five were killed on the spot while three others were wounded but expired en route to the hospital, the official explained.

The exchange of fire also left one CTD official and two Rangers personnel wounded.

The spokesperson said of the eight, two slain terrorists have been identified as Arsalan Baig (target killer) and Sheharyar alias Dr Abdullah Hashmi, the head of the militant outfit. 

Authorities are in the process of identifying the rest of the deceased.

Last night, following the encounter, a Rangers official had said some militants had managed to escape and a search operation was launched for their arrest.

Weapons and explosive materials, among other things, were recovered from the terrorists' hideout, the spokesperson had mentioned.

Interestingly, earlier reports, citing senior security officials, had claimed that Abdullah Hashmi had been detained by law enforcers. 

Ansarul Shariah

The recently-formed group has been involved in multiple terrorism incidents in Karachi and Mastung, according to security officials.

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 and an IED blast targeting security forces in Mastung.

The crackdown against the group began after the Eid-day attack on Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan last month.

Since then, the police and other security agencies have launched a nationwide crackdown on the outfit, detaining several of its key leaders.  

The outfit was not inspired by Daesh's ideology, but instead, it was influenced by al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Initially, it did operate under Daesh's umbrella, however, differences led to the parting of the ways later, according to security officials. 

The group comprises of militants from Al Qaeda Subcontinent, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Daesh, they said further.