Al Qaeda-linked group, TTP claim spies’ murder in Khanewal

The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on Wednesday registered a case under terrorism charges against a suspect involved in the murder of two intelligence agency officials in Khanewal on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, two groups, including the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the so-called Lashkar-i-Khorasan, have claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to the first information report (FIR), a copy of which is available with Dawn, Inter-Services Intelligence Multan region director Naveed Sadiq and inspector Nasir Abbas met a source at a roadside hotel on the National Highway near Pirowal in Khanewal district.

After having tea, they all walked to the parking lot when the source himself, identified as Umar Khan of Kacha Khoo, pulled out his gun, shot the officers dead and fled from the scene.

The suspect reportedly executed the attack on the directions of his group leader, Asadullah.

CTD official says raids being conducted for suspect’s arrest

The CTD Multan police station registered a case under murder and terrorism charges on the complaint of the officers’ driver and started an investigation.

CTD Punjab chief Imran Mahmood told Us that the suspect had been identified and raids were being conducted to arrest him.

He said action would be taken against the terrorist network involved in planning and executing the attack on the intelligence officials.

Meanwhile, the TTP claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier, a group calling itself Lashkar-i-Khorasan, said to be linked with Al Qaeda, had also made a similar claim.

“Yesterday, a secret squad of TTP killed ISI Deputy Director Multan Naveed Sadiq along with his colleague Inspector Nasir Butt at Bismillah Highway in Khanewal district of Punjab,” TTP spokesman Mohammad Khorasani said in a statement to the media, as reported by Reuters.

The CTD, in a statement reported by Reuters on Wednesday, confirmed the killings but not the TTP’s role. It said the two officers had met the suspected killer at the hotel and had a cup of tea with him. After tea, the suspect shot the two officers in the hotel’s parking lot and fled on a motorcycle, the CTD added, releasing security camera footage of the incident.

A senior officer on conduction of anonymity told Us that the intelligence officers were working on terrorism-related cases and meeting a source from the banned Al Qaeda and militant Islamic State group. The incident led to mistrust between the intelligence agency and their sources.

“Officers cultivated sources among terrorist networks operating in the country to know about their operations, which may have resulted in several achievements against terrorism,” he maintained.

Later, Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi, ISI Director General Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum, Punjab Inspector General of Police Amir Zulfiqar Khan and other civil and military officials attended the funeral prayer of Mr Sadiq in Lahore.

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