Militant group kills three to ‘avenge besmirching’ of its name

KARACHI: The recent police killings in Karachi have become a mystery after the same group that earlier claimed responsibility of at least five major attacks on police has now claimed to be against the killings of police. Infact, they have warned of killing those who are involved in the killing of ‘poor cops and security personnel’.

In an act to prove their claims and avenge the recent attack on police officers, the militant group, Ansarul Sharia Pakistan (ASP), took on Monday the responsibility for the killing of three young men, who were allegedly involved in the killings of police in the metropolis under the name of ASP. The three men were shot dead as a warning for them to stop using the organisation’s name, the ASP claimed.

Three unidentified bullet-ridden bodies were found Monday morning near the Northern Bypass police check-post within the limits of the SITE Super Highway police station. The deceased, believed to be within 30-35 years of age, were shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and later shifted to the Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth for identification.

Three bullet-ridden bodies found in Karachi

Police officials said that the victims were shot dead after being kidnapped. They [the deceased] were also subjected to torture before being shot once in their head, at an undisclosed location and later their bodies were dumped at an abandoned area, police said. The police did not find even a single empty shell of the pistol used in the killings, from the crime scene.

According to District Malir SSP Rao Anwar, a pamphlet bearing a message from ASP was found at the crime scene. In the pamphlet, the group took responsibility for the killings, saying it was revenge against the recent attack on innocent police volunteers.

On August 17, unidentified motorcyclists targeted two police officers of the SITE Super Highway police at the same area – Northern Bypass – during which one of the officers was killed on the spot while the other was critically wounded. The officers were leaving on a motorcycle after completing their duties at the time of the incident.

“Having support of foreign spy agencies, RAW and Mossad, they were involved in the killings of Muslims, security personnel, poor policemen and volunteers in Karachi and the real mujahideen have killed them. This act [of killing] avenges the killings of the policemen in Karachi and we will continue this in future,” the pamphlet reads, which was found at the crime scene.

Pamphlets point to a new militant group in Pakistan

In the pamphlet, it was said that ASP is against the killings of police and security personnel and warned not to use the organisation’s name in police killings. If [any group] continues to kill police personnel under ASP’s name, their families will not even remain alive, the pamphlet warned.

Meanwhile, police officials remained tight-lipped over the matter. “We cannot comment on the issue until the investigation is completed. We cannot say if the three men, whose bodies were found, were involved in the police killings or not,” said SITE Super Highway SHO Anar Tarar.

Karachi has been witness to 10 consecutive attacks on police since the beginning of this year. ASP had claimed responsibility of at least five of these attacks and their pamphlets were found from the crime scene.

The attacks claimed by ASP included the killings of four policemen in SITE area, killing of Traffic DSP Hanif Khan and his gunman in Azizabad, an attack on police officers in Northern Bypass, during which a volunteer was killed and another critically wounded, an attack on a police mobile van in Dhoraji area in which two cops were killed and one was wounded and the killing of a police officers at Sharae Faisal. The forensic reports of these incidents confirmed that the same group was involved in these five major attacks on police in Karachi.

Investigators suspect militant sleeper cells active in Karachi again

However, the ASP pamphlet that was found on Monday from Northern Bypass, along with the three unidentified bodies, has puzzled the investigators. “ASP vs ASP? How can it be possible?” questioned a senior police official.

“Even senior officials from law enforcement and intelligence agencies have taken notice of this incident and asked us for an inquiry into the matter,” the police official said. The officer said that there were multiple messages in the pamphlet from Monday’s incident.

“The pamphlet attempts to give a clean chit to ASP as it mentions that the group was not involved in any of the police killings and rather, is against the killing of law enforcers,” the official said. “Furthermore, a warning has been given in the pamphlet to those involved in police killings directly. The group has also warned of killing the families of those who are involved in police killings,” he said, adding that the main factor is that some law enforcement agency could also have been behind these killings while attempting to give an impression that ASP has been divided into two groups.

“This could be an attempt to initiate a rift in ASP over the matter of police killings in Karachi,” he explained. The officer said that it was confirmed that Monday’s pamphlet had similarities with the previous ones. It has some differences such as the font that was used but the details will be clearer in the forensics report, he said.

The post Militant group kills three to ‘avenge besmirching’ of its name appeared first on The Express Tribune.

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