CTD arrests over 10 terrorists, facilitators involved in attack on Chinese engineers

Tooba Shakir 2 months ago 0 1

Vehicle parts can bee seen on the road in the aftermath of the deadly suicide attack on bus carrying Chinese engineers on March 26, 2024. — X/@WaliKhan_TK
Vehicle parts can bee seen on the road in the aftermath of the deadly suicide attack on bus carrying Chinese engineers on March 26, 2024. — X/@WaliKhan_TK
  • TTP-affiliated network responsible for deadly attack: CTD sources.
  • Suicide bomber, vehicle used in attack brought in from Afghanistan.
  • CTD apprehends mastermind Hazrat Bilal’s two accomplices.

PESHAWAR: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has arrested more than 10 terrorists, facilitators involved in the attack on Chinese engineers in Shangla’s Bisham city last week, sources told Geo News on Monday.

As per the sources, a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)-affiliated outfits are believed to be involved in the March 26 deadly attack.

During the attack, five Chinese citizens, including a woman, and a Pakistani driver were killed when their vehicle was attacked in Shangla’s Besham city as a suicide bomber crashed his explosives-laden vehicle into the car carrying the victims.

Following the incident, the country’s civil and military leadership notably Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir condemned the attack vowing that the perpetrators responsible for the heinous attack would be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at Rawalpindi’s Nur Khan Airbase and a 30-second silence was observed as bodies of the deceased Chinese nationals were airlifted back to China.

Floral wreaths were laid on behalf of the president, prime minister, army chief, Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Babar Sidhu and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Sahir Shamshad Mirza.

In the aftermath of the attack, Chinese companies overseeing operations at the sites of the Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha Dams, temporarily suspended the civil work at both sites owing to security concerns.

Around 991 Chinese engineers were working on both projects, while the local staff has been told to stay at home till further instructions, an official working on the project confirmed to the publication.

Last week, a Chinese investigation team has also arrived in Pakistan to investigate the incident after China’s military expressed its willingness to work with Pakistan to enhance the capability of the two countries to tackle various security risks and challenges including terrorist attacks

The CTD sources say that the terrorist commander, responsible for bringing the suicide bomber to Pakistan from Afghanistan, has also been arrested as well as four other facilitators.

Furthermore, the investigation has revealed that the explosive-laden vehicle used in the deadly attack was prepared in Afghanistan and was subsequently transported to Dera Ismail Khan’s Darazinda via the Pak-Afghan Chaman border crossing in Balochistan.

From there, the vehicle was transported to Chakdara in Lower Dir — via a smuggler of non-custom paid vehicles — for which the driver was paid Rs250,000. 

However, security forces have also arrested the facilitator responsible for transporting the vehicle from Chaman to Chakdara.

Investigation team sources say that the car was then brought to the incident site on the day of the attack after being parked for 10 days at the cost of Rs500 per day.

The mastermind of the attack, Hazrat Bilal, is also wanted by the security forces for his involvement in the Dasu dam attack, the sources added.

With two accomplices of the suicide bomber already in custody, CTD expects that it will soon arrest Bilal as well.

The arrests, as per the CTD sources, have been made by utilising the mobile and SIM data of the suicide bomber which he had procured through a third person.

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