Saturday, January 28, 2023

Security forces 'bust suicide bombing network' in KP

Afghan mobile SIM cards, drugs and foreign currency recovered from terrorists’ possession

Armed security forces personnel ride on an army van. —AFP/File
Armed security forces personnel ride on an army van. —AFP/File
  • Jamrud suicide bomber was being "facilitated from Afghanistan".
  • Eight suspects arrested in connection with Jamurd suicide attack.   
  • Three policemen were martyred in attack on January 19.

In a major achievement, the security forces busted a network involved in suicide attacks and other nefarious activities in the country during intelligence-based operations in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Geo News reported Saturday.

Afghan mobile SIM cards, drugs, and foreign currency were recovered from the terrorists’ possession, the media outlet reported, citing intelligence sources.

At least three policemen were martyred after a suicide bomber blew himself up on January 19 during an attack on a check post in the Takhta Beg area of Jamrud. Later, the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

After the forensic examination of bullet casings collected from the crime scene, CCTV footage, and the body parts, it was established that TTP’s terrorist Umar was behind the attack.

Umar was facilitated by Satana Jan, a resident of Tehsil Jamrud of Khyber district. Then, the security forces launched an operation to arrest the suspects involved in the attack on the police check post.

During the operations, security forces nabbed two facilitators, Farmanullah and Abdul Qayyum, on January 23. The security forces on January 27 then arrested four more facilitators of terrorist, Fazl Amin, Fazl Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, and Hamadullah. Meanwhile, two Afghan nationals were also taken into custody during the operation.

During the initial interrogation, facilitator Fazal revealed that the suicide bomber was an Afghan national who was brought to Pakistan by Jan. 

Jan provided the Afghan national with the suicide jacket and weapons for the attack. “He was running TTP's North Waziristan chapter,” Fazal added. The suicide bomber was being facilitated from inside Afghanistan, he revealed.  

Jan was using four houses as hideouts and for suicide attacks in the country, he added. 

The reports come as Pakistan tackles rising terror attacks — especially by the outlawed TTP and from across the Afghan border.

According to reports, the TTP regrouped in Afghanistan after the Taliban's takeover, with Pakistan repeatedly asking the interim government in the neighbouring country to ensure that its soil isn't used for terrorism. But the Taliban-led government has not been able to live up to the expectations.

The activities of militants have been mainly focused in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with the former accounting for 31% of the attacks during the last year and the latter 67%, according to statistics provided by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.

The incident

At least three policemen were martyred in a terrorist attack on a police check-post in KP's Khyber Agency on January 19.

The area's police said terrorists opened fire on the check-post in Tekhta Beg and used explosive material in the attack, after which the police station caught fire. The exchange of fire between the police force and terrorists is still underway.

Talking to journalists, Jamrud SHO Shah Khalid termed the storm on the police check-post a suicide attack. "The suicide bomber entered the check-post and blew himself up."

The SHO added that the police opened fire on the target upon seeing the suicide bomber.

Two policemen — Manzoor Shah and Younis Khan — were martyred in the attack, while a cook in the check-post, identified as Rafiq, was shifted to the Peshawar hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.