Pakistani forces net militants in Karachi combing operations

By Amna Nasir Jamal

Sindh Rangers August 11 in Karachi display arrested suspects and weapons seized during a combing operation in that city. [Amna Nasir Jamal]

Sindh Rangers August 11 in Karachi display arrested suspects and weapons seized during a combing operation in that city. [Amna Nasir Jamal]

KARACHI -- Pakistani law enforcement agencies are carrying out combing operations to root out militants across the country on the instructions of Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif.

The military's top brass May 2 approved the timeline and operational details of countrywide combing operations against terrorists and militant groups.

After an August 8 suicide bombing killed more than 70 people in a Quetta hospital, Raheel ordered corps commanders and intelligence outfits to further intensify operations to eliminate terrorists and sleeper cells.

In Karachi, security forces August 10 launched an operation against suspected militants, making numerous arrests throughout Pakistan's commercial capital.

"Law enforcement agencies have sped up their hunt for criminals in the metropolis and apprehended about 100 suspects during separate [search and destroy] raids since the Quetta attack," Sindh Rangers spokesman Col. Asghar told Pakistan Forward.

"The paramilitary force arrested seven alleged militants during separate raids in Korangi and Gulshan-e-Iqbal," he said. "Rangers personnel arrested four suspects in a raid in Ghousia Colony locality of Pir Ilahi Buksh Colony."

"Para-military troops also carried out a targeted operation in Nazimabad and arrested another four suspects," he added.

Troops performing combing operations in the Bin Qasim and Korangi areas of Karachi nabbed 10 terrorists, he said.

The arrested persons are said to be affiliated with banned organisations," Asghar said. "Illegal weapons and ammunition also were seized from the arrested suspects."

During a search operation August 18-19 in the Bahadurabad area, Rangers arrested at least six suspects including two accused target killers from Karachi, according to security officials. The detainees admitted during interrogations that they had murdered six Sunni Tehreek workers in recent years, police said.

Police in action in Karachi

"On August 11, during an overnight targeted operation, the entire locality [especially Hazara Colony, located in Defence Housing Authority (DHA)] was cordoned off and south district police apprehended nearly 44 suspects during the door-to-door search," Sub Inspector M. Chandio, Gizri Police Station, DHA, told Pakistan Forward.

Police nabbed another 20 suspects during door-to-door search operations in Neelam Colony and Shireen Jinnah Colony, he said.

"A large contingent of West Zone Police and Reserve Police personnel took part in the operation," Orangi Town Superintendent of Police Ali Asif said.

"The raids are being carried out based on information given by the arrested persons and law enforcement sources," he told Pakistan Forward.

"Police also found weapons in a few of the suspects' possession," he said.

Countrywide combing operations

Troops and police made arrests in other parts of Pakistan as well.

Eleven suspected "hardcore terrorists" were arrested in a combing operation conducted by the army in Shahdara, Lahore, Punjab Province, on August 13, according to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release.

Among the arrested terrorists, two belong to Jamatul Ahrar, a splinter group of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), police say.

Security forces apprehended six suspects and seized an arms and ammunition cache in Rawalpindi District, Punjab Province, August 11, authorities say. The detainees include two "important" militant commanders, they added.

In Punjab Province, 96 recent combing operations resulted in the arrest of 45 suspected terrorists, according to the provincial Counter Terrorism Department.

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