BAHAWALPUR: Police on Thursday claimed to have smashed a gang of terrorists belonging to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and arrested its seven members.
The gang, police said, wanted to blow up the prime minister’s camp office in Multan and target other important individuals and places in the province.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Regional Police Officer (RPO) Syed Abid Qadri said that members of the gang, who once worked for outlawed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, were picked up during a raid on a village near Ahmedpur Sharqia.
Reuters quoted another security official as saying that the militants “had plans to blow up an explosives-laden vehicle near the house of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Multan when he was visiting there”.
RPO Qadri said that acting on a tip-off, a team led by DPO Babar Bakht Qureshi raided the village and arrested Abdul Rauf alias Talha, Muhammad Afzal, Hafiz Suleman alias Amjad, Sajjad Ahmed, Muhammad Saleem, Hilal and Mufti Munawar Hussain.
He said the terrorists had plans to attack the PM’s camp office, Taunsa Barrage, Ghazi Ghat bridge, Dera Nawab Sahib Cantonment (in Bahawalpur district), Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Religious Affairs Maulana Hamid Saeed Kazmi, Vehari Grid Station, Multan’s Central Police office and families of some police and army officers.
He said that the accused were involved in more than seven terrorist attacks, including the attack on ISI office in Multan, killing of five members of the Shia community in Kacha Khoo area of Khanewal district, robbery in a jeweller’s shop in Jalalpur Peerawal near Lodhran and murder of a former SSP activist in Hatheji.
The police officer said that two hand grenades, a Kalashnikov, four pistols and a rifle were seized during the raid.