Assassination attempt against Shehbaz Sharif foiled


LAHORE: Police on Monday claimed to have foiled an assassination plot targeting Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

A suspected terrorist was arrested from the Model Town area of the provincial capital by security agencies.

Police claimed that the suspect was working as a driver in a house located in Block H of Model Town and was employed by an officer of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).

The offices of PITB are located in Arfa Karim Tower, near which a bombing on July 26 claimed the lives of 26 people.

An investigation has revealed that the July 26 bombing was also meant to target the chief minister.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah also confirmed the arrest of a suspect by security agencies.

A suicide jacket was also recovered from the suspect’s possession, added sources.

Earlier on Monday, two suspected terrorists were killed in a raid by the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in Chak 23 of Jalalpur Pirwala.

According to CTD officials, information was received that a suspected terrorist, Ijaz Asghar, along with five associates, was hiding in the area.

As the CTD officials reached the site to nab the suspects, an exchange of fire took place in which two suspected terrorists were killed, while others escaped.

The most high-profile assassination to target a member of the provincial government took place in August 2015, when Punjab Home Minister Col (r) Shuja Khanzada was among at least 19 people killed when suicide bombers attacked the political office of the retired colonel in his native village in Attock district.

A jirga (open court) was underway at Khanzada’s political office in his native Shadi Khan village when the suicide attackers detonated their explosives. The blast caused the roof of the building to collapse under which the provincial home minister was trapped for several hours.