‘3 beach blast terrorists were Chechens; target was Ghazi’s shrine’

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Three of the five suicide bombers, who blew themselves up on November 16 at the Clifton beach to avoid being arrested, were Chechens and their target was the shrine of the city’s patron saint Abdullah Shah Ghazi, Sindh Additional Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ghulam Shabbir Shaikh said on Saturday.
“The three suicide bombers, including a woman, belonged to Chechnya and came to Karachi via Quetta where they contacted local militants and selected the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi as their target,” the additional IGP said at a press briefing held the Central Police Office.
“On the night of November 16, they were going to hit their target but the quick response of the Karachi police ensured that they failed to achieve their goal.”
On a question about the recent spree of bank robberies in Karachi, Shaikh said that there are 12 different groups of bank robbers operating in the city.
“The police have completed investigation and a crack down would soon be launched against them.”
He said that the robbers mainly target local banks instead of foreign ones because of the inadequate security measures adopted by the former.
He said that on November 24, the police arrested two robbers, who were trying to loot a bank in the Aziz Bhatti police jurisdiction.
The robbers were arrested in an injured condition after an encounter with the police and have been identified as Umar Zaman Afridi and Sharif Khan Afridi.
“During interrogation, the arrested men, both from Kohat, disclosed that they were involved in around 30 bank robberies.”
He said that the arrested men have given them useful information about their other gang members, who have apparently vanished in the non-accessible territories of Kohat region. “However, the Kohat police have been approached for assistance in arresting them.”
MUHARRAM SECURITY PLAN: Security plans for observing Muharramul Haram in Karachi and elsewhere in Sindh were reviewed during a high-level meeting held at the Central Police Office.
Sindh IGP Mushtaq Shah directed the police officers attending the meeting to check all new occupants of rented houses, guest houses and hotels in their respective jurisdiction with the assistance of their intelligence network.
Shah also directed them to vigilantly monitor the procession routes and ensure the safety of the mourners along the traditional routes.
It was decided in the meeting that ulema be provided full security, besides mosques and imambargahs in sensitive areas.
Moreover, it was also decided that the majalis of women be provided special security. The IGP warned the police officers that no lapse in this regard would be tolerated.