Explosive devices recovered, defused in AJK
Alleged militant killed
MUZAFFARABAD, Sept 13: An alleged militant was killed when the explosive material he was carrying in a vehicle went off in the town of Rawalakot on the night of Eid in what’s the first incident involving a local guy in a possible militant act.
Separately, a locally made explosive device exploded outside a cable operator’s office in the town of Palandari around same time but there was no casualty, officials said.
In Rawalakot, the alleged militant, Asim Zakir, was killed at about 11 pm on Saturday, presumably after the explosive device he was taking out of his vehicle went off just outside a hotel in the central part of town.
The 5-door Land Cruiser jeep was bearing a fake Sargodha registration number and authorities were investigating about its owner, Rawalakot’s superintendent of Police (SP) Sheharyar Sikandar said.
According to him, the alleged militant, living on the outskirts of Rawalakot, was an employee of the AJK electricity department but there were strong clues about his links with the Tehreek-e-Taliban
“He was a well trained person having spent considerable time in Waziristan and Afghanistan,” he said.
Already under surveillance, the suspected militant was picked up by the law enforcement agencies for interrogation in March this year but was freed shortly afterwards amid demonstrations against his detention by his electricity department colleagues.
Police had arrested a brother and a close friend of the deceased militant for investigations, he said.
On Sunday, an explosive device hidden in a pressure cooker was also found outside a CD and cassettes shop in a plaza close to the site where the alleged militant was killed.
The device was defused after almost 15 hours as local bomb disposal experts failed to defuse it and experts had to be called in from Islamabad to carry out the task.
Police had arrested several suspects from the hotel and surrounding areas besides carrying a through sweep and search operation, SP Sikandar said.
Local journalist Abid Siddique told this correspondent that the two incidents might have a link with a recent campaign through posters, pasted and distributed by anonymous persons in Rawalakot, against the alleged obscenity being spread by music shops and internet cafes.
In Muzaffarabad’s Madina Market, an explosive device, also hidden in a pressure cooker, was spotted as well by a security guard late on Saturday night. The device was however defused by the local bomb disposal experts within two hours.
ASP Muzaffarabad Jamil Ahmed told that the authorities launched a search and sweep operation of the entire area but did not find any other suspicious thing.
Around 40-50 suspicious persons, mostly from the tribal belts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, were also taken into custody for questioning, he said.
There were unconfirmed reports that a suspicious carton was found on Monday in the town of Bagh as well.
Some officials were of the view that the timing of the incidents suggested that the people behind them wanted to create a scare rather than the physical losses.
While Pakistan has lately seen a string of deadly suicide attacks and bomb blasts, AJK has however been almost free of such incidents.
The first such incident in this region had occurred in June last year when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a military installation in Muzaffarabad killing two and wounding four soldiers.
The last incident on January 16 this year was also directed at the military in which two soldiers were injured after their vehicle was struck by a suicide bomber, on the outskirts of Rawalakot.
In between, four soldiers were killed and several others wounded in Tarakhal (also in Rawalakot district) after an army school came under the attack of a suicide bomber on January 6.
On November 21 last year, three suicide bombers blew themselves up on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad after the police and residents gave them a long chase, averting any casualties. A military installation located in the area was believed to be their target.
However the suicide attack of December 27 last outside Muzaffarabad’s central Imambargah claimed mostly the civilian lives.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 13 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 13 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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