Two Taliban terrorists, who were planning to target a Sufi shrine in Pakpattan district of Pakistan's Punjab province, were shot dead in a shootout that also killed an inspector of the counter-terrorism department.
Two Taliban terrorists, who were planning to target a Sufi shrine in Pakpattan district of Pakistan’s Punjab province, were shot dead in a shootout that also killed an inspector of the counter-terrorism department.
According to Counter-Terrorism Department, upon receiving information that some terrorists were hiding in Shade Ke Dulu, Harappa, Sahiwal district, some 250-km from Lahore, a CTD team along with police raided their hideout yesterday.
When the team challenged the suspects they opened fire, killing CTD Inspector Fida Husain on the spot and injuring two other security personnel seriously, officials said.
In the exchange of fire, the CTD said two terrorists were killed while four others injured and arrested.
One of the deceased is identified as Zeeshan alias Shani. He was allegedly involved in murder attempt on the Sahiwal CTD chief last December and killing of two men. Weapons and explosives were recovered from the suspects.
The CTD said the terrorists belong to Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TPP) and they were planning to target a shrine in Pakpattan district of the province.
Pakpattan is famous throughout South Asia, for a number of Sufi shrines, of which the most renowned is that of Hazrat Baba Farid Shakarganj. An attack on Shakarganj’s shrine had killed seven people in October, 2010.
The ISIS and the Taliban have frequently targeted Sufi shrines across Pakistan. More than 25 shrines across the country have been attacked since 2005, according to reports.
One of the deadliest suicide bombing targetting Sufi shrine in Pakistan took place last month when an ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up in Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan area of Sindh province, killing nearly 90 people.
Meanwhile, in a joint search operation the Rangers, CTD and police arrested 80 suspects in different parts of the province including Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Chakwal and Lahore.
“The joint team is focusing on intelligence-based search operations to get maximum results from it while all the arrested suspects have been shifted to undisclosed location for further interrogation,” an official said, adding that the police also used bio-metric machines for identification of people and those who failed to produce documents to prove their identity were taken into custody.
The Rangers have been called in Punjab for operation against militants after a series of blasts in the country last month that claimed more than 100 lives.
Rangers and police have taken hundreds of suspects mostly Afghans and Pashtaun into custody during their search operation last two weeks.