The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on Monday claimed to have foiled a terror bid in Karachi by arresting four suspected terrorists and killing three others during counter-terrorism operations in different parts of the city on Sunday night.
According to the CTD, three raids were carried out as a result of a rise in terrorist activities in the city over the past month.
The operations were carried out in Machhar Colony and near MA Jinnah road after the CTD was tipped off about the presence of terrorists with ties to the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the areas, the CTD said.
The dead terrorists have not been identified, the CTD said, adding that those arrested had admitted to killing a police sub-inspector in 2015.
According to the CTD, the terrorists had planned to target jamaat-khanas belonging to the Aga Khani community, imambargahs and shrines.
One Kalashnikov, five pistols, and a home-made bomb were recovered from the possession of the suspected terrorists.
The CTD also claimed to have dismantled two sleeper cells in the overnight raids.
Just a day before these counter-terror operations, the CTD had concluded, contrary to their previous assumption that a single group had been targeting policemen and retired law enforcement personnel, that numerous splinter groups with ties to the outlawed TTP or Lashkar-i-Jhangvi are responsible for the spate of attacks in recent months.
“There are multiple groups involved in targeted killings of policemen in the city,” CTD chief Additional Inspector General Sanaullah Abbasi had said on August 6.
A CTD assessment about recent targeted killings revealed that one group was almost certainly linked with a new terror outfit Ansar al-Sharia. Militants from the banned Jundullah group might have also joined this new outfit.
“This group, however, is made up of educated and media savvy individuals, who are equally concerned, not only with their targeting of police officials, but also with winning public perception and delegitimising the state,” Abbasi had said.
According to Abbasi, the outlawed TTP has established at least five different groups in the country to carry out terror acts.
The CTD’s assessment indicated that the TTP’s Special Task Force was a “dangerous group” that appeared to be active in Karachi and other parts of the country.
This group has been tasked with carrying out attacks on the police and personnel of other law enforcement agencies.
Referring to a task force led by the Rangers director general and comprising officials of CTD, intelligence agencies and others, Abbasi had said each terrorism case was being discussed by the counter-terror body and threat assessments were also made to chalk out future strategies.
Abbasi added that apart from recent killings of law enforcers in the city, the security officials were also working on the deadly Sehwan blast and the escape of two high-profile LJ militants from Karachi central jail.