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Suspected shooter in Saddar attack affiliated with Jamaatul Ahrar: police

Suspected shooter in Saddar attack affiliated with Jamaatul Ahrar: police

RAWALPINDI: Police have said that the man believed to have been the shooter in an attack on police in Saddar on Tuesday was affiliated with the banned Jamaatul Ahrar.

The police have registered an FIR under section seven of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and on murder charges on the complaint of Constable Hassan Mehmood, from the police’s Dolphin Force.

The FIR said that Mr Mehmood was on duty with Mohammad Waqas, Mohammad Ali and Saeed Ahmed on Adam Jee Road Tuesday night when a person opened fire at them from near the old Government Transport Service bus stand.

He said Ali and Ahmed were seriously injured and later died. Hearing the gunshots, Dolphin Force officials Hassan Akram, Sarwar, Shahzad and Farhan reached them and were also fired at. Mr Akram was injured, along with bystander Sumaira and two others.

FIR registered under 7ATA over shootout between suspect, Dolphin Force personnel

The police retaliated, killing the alleged shooter. The police later recovered a CNIC from the suspected shooter’s pocket, identifying him as a native of Pasrur, Sialkot.

City Police Officer Mohammad Ahsan Younas told Dawn that the suspect was killed while he was reloading his pistol. He said the police have obtained the suspect’s family history, but no one has claimed his body so far.

Mr Younas said: “The shooter who was killed during yesterday’s encounter with the police was affiliated with the Jamaatul Ahrar group and some evidence available with the police also suggests that he was trained in Afghanistan.”

In addition to the police, the Counter Terrorism Department and other law enforcement agencies have been investigating the shootout as well.

Mr Younas speculated that there may have been a handler or two who were either with the suspect or facilitating him, but this has yet to be ascertained by the police. He said the suspect had allegedly previously been involved in criminal activity, and later became affiliated with terrorist organisations.

He said the police have received threats of terror attacks on police establishments from terrorist organisations. He also praised the police official who killed the suspect.

The police are investigating on various lines, and teams have been sent to the suspect’s hometown for more information about him.

The police official who was shot and injured is stated to be in stable condition and the woman who was injured was discharged from hospital on Wednesday.

The police have obtained CCTV footage from nearby buildings and are working on geo-fencing the area.

Funeral prayers for the martyred police officials were offered at Police Lines on Wednesday.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2020

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