Alexa

3 suspected Islamic militants arrested with suicide bomb jackets, say police

3 suspected Islamic militants arrested with suicide bomb jackets, say police

Police said they arrested three suspected Islamic militants Wednesday in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province and seized two suicide jackets the suspects were allegedly carrying in shopping bags.
The three men were suspected members of the outlawed Sunni Muslim militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, said Pervez Tareen Sardar, a police officer in the area.
He said the three were waiting at a bus stop in Pul Miran village when residents became suspicious and called the police. It was not clear what drew the residents' attention to them.
A day earlier police arrested a suspected al-Qaida militant over an October suicide bombing that targeted former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. She survived that blast but died in a subsequent suicide bomb and gun attack on Dec. 27.
Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz said Tuesday that Qari Saifullah Akhtar and his three sons were picked up due to Akhtar's suspected involvement in the October bombing in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. The attack at a welcoming rally for Bhutto killed 150 people.
It was not clear why the sons were picked up.
Nawaz did not provide any details on Akhtar's alleged role in the attack, but said he would be questioned in connection with Bhutto's killing.
The government has blamed both the Karachi bombing and Bhutto's assassination on the top Taliban commander in Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud.
Akhtar's lawyer Hashmat Habib denied that his client was involved. He said Akhtar had once fought in Islamic militant groups in Afghanistan and the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, which is disputed between Pakistan and neighboring India. But the lawyer said Akhtar had abandoned militancy in 1994.
Akhtar was believed to have run an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan during the former Taliban regime.
Violence linked to Islamic militants has surged in Pakistan in recent months. Militants allegedly connected to the Taliban and al-Qaida have been blamed for a series of suicide attacks that mainly targeted Pakistan security forces.


Updated : 2021-01-18 18:47 GMT+08:00