SRA found liable for Saddar blast

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-CTD says attacker received instructions from banned group’s head housed in Iran

From Zeeshan Mirza

KARACHI: Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Deputy Inspector General Syed Khurram Ali shared on Thursday that the alleged mastermind of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack in Karachi’s Saddar area earlier this month, was trained in Iran and received instructions and money from the head of the outlawed Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) Asghar Shah, who was residing in the neighbouring country.
On May 12, an IED blast ripped through the busy Saddar area, killing a passerby and injuring several others. A number of vehicles were damaged as well, among which was a vehicle of the Pakistan Coast Guards. The banned SRA subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it targeted the Coast Guards’ vehicle.
Wednesday, two men, identified as Allah Dino, 28, and his accomplice Nawab Ali, 26, were killed in an encounter with counter-terror police.
A spokesperson for the CTD said in a statement issued on Thursday that officials, during the course of investigating the May 12 blast, found three men trying to move explosive material and tools on a motorcycle a day earlier within the jurisdiction of the Mochka police station in the city.
When officials tried to stop the three suspects, they opened fire on the police. In the ensuing exchange of fire, two of the alleged terrorists were killed while the third escaped, the spokesperson said.
He further said the two killed terrorists — Dino and Ali — were associated with the Asghar Shah branch of the proscribed SRA.
Addressing a press conference alongside Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab Thursday, the DIG said Dino was an expert of making IEDs and had been involved in terrorist activities at different levels, including attacking railway tracks. “He went to Iran and was trained there.”
The DIG played a CCTV video of Dino and said that the terrorist could be seen walking with the bicycle, in which the IED was believed to be fitted, for five kilometres before parking it and sitting at a restaurant from where he detonated the bomb via remote control. Dino then sat in a rickshaw and left, he added.
The attacker was living in the city’s Gizri area along with his accomplice, Ali said. “We have technical evidence. We [traced] his number through geofencing. It is evident this is the same person.
“We have an audio clip too in which he outlined his plan to carry out similar attacks elsewhere. He was involved in both kinetic and non-kinetic activities.”
The DIG also played an audio recording of a call between SRA head Asghar Shah and Dino, adding that the attacker received money and instructions from Shah.
According to the statement from the CTD spokesperson, Dino and Nawab Ali had received Rs178,000 from the SRA through a mobile cash wallet to carry out terrorist activities.
Meanwhile, the DIG, in his press conference said Dino’s accomplices had disclosed that attacks on railway tracks were carried out for Rs10,000 to 15,000 while attacks like the Saddar IED blast were done for Rs50,000.
Dino had previously been arrested in connection with an FIR registered in 2021 for “criminal conspiracy against the country’s integrity” and was out on bail, the CTD spokesperson said.
“The killed terrorist was involved in destroying railway tracks in different districts of Sindh. He was in contact with SRA’s Asghar Shah, Aqib Chandio and Noor Chandio.”
The search for the escaped suspect was under way, the spokesperson said. He added that intelligence-based operations (IBOs) had been carried out, as a result of which other members of the terrorist network — Mohammad Sabir and Nadeem Ali Mugheri — were arrested along with weapons and ammunition and further investigations were ongoing.
Meanwhile, Murtaza Wahab urged the courts to revisit the policy of granting bails, pointing out that Dino had been arrested by law enforcement agencies but was out on bail.
“When he came out, he was again involved in such activities and tried to cause huge damage to the country. I will request the courts to look at the bail policy for people involved in such anti-Pakistan, anti-state activities because the FIR [against Dino] included these sections. If such people are given bail, it will be a danger for us all.”
The SRA head Shah was trying to “incite innocent people against Pakistan, the governments and law enforcement agencies”, Wahab said and stressed the need to defeat Shah’s narrative.
“People who themselves have fled this country are trying to disturb the peace of this city and attempt to misuse innocent people for some money.”
The administrator further said that action would be taken against the terrorists who were arrested in accordance with the law.