KARACHI - At least 16 militants affiliated with defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan were arrested in joint operations carried out by Rangers Sindh and Counter Terrorism Department of the Sindh police in Ganna Mandi area of Sohrab Goth and Mominabad, Malir.

“The militants arrested belonged to the Ustad Aslam group of TTP,” explained Rangers spokesperson. “These militants belonged to the same group of which three members were killed a couple of days ago in a joint operation by Rangers and CTD.” The spokesperson said that these 16 militants had been escaped during the encounter two days ago.

“Since then the Rangers and CTD had continued to conduct raids in parts of a city to hunt them,” said the spokesperson. “Finally we got intelligence based information about the fleeing militants in Mominabad and Ganna Mandi areas.”

These militants were arrested after an exchange of fire. Earlier, the three militants who were killed in a joint venture were included Abdul Kareem Swati alias Mufti, Yousuf alias Shahzada alias Noman Burmi and Ahmed alias Maulvi Abdullah.

The killed militant Abdul Kareem Swati had joined TTP in 2009 and got militancy training in Afghanistan. He had linked to the commander Bilal Mansoor of Ustad Aslam who was the ring leader of the militants killed during encounter with the Rangers in Urdu Bazaar last year. Swati was involved in the kidnapping for ransom of Sardar Asad Tareen and was the key facilitator of the terror activities of Bilal Mansoor in Karachi.

Another killed militant Yousuf had joined the TTP in 2014 and after getting militancy training from Afghanistan, he was involved in IED blast in Orangi Town in 2015.

The third killed militant Ahmed after joining TTP in 2016 was would be the suicide bomber.

On the other hand, the sixteen militants arrested were identified as Rafiullah Arif alias Qari, Abdul Majid alias Mufti, Younus alias Anus, Razzak, Shamsul Huda alias Maulvi, Omar Khaliq alias Hussain, Junaid alias Abdul Manan, Junaid Ahmed, Khan Bahadur, Abdul Ghaffar alias Abu Huraira, Zainul Abideen alias Siddiqui alias Saifullah, Saifullah alias Saifu, Asif alias Doctor alias Langra, Sanaullah alias Sana, Abdul Aziz alias Kamran and Omar Ali Zargar.

The Rangers also claimed to have recovered a huge cache of arms and explosives from the possession of the killed and arrested militants. These included four suicide jackets, 12 block bombs, ten hand grenades, 40 kilograms explosives, two gallons hydrogen oxide, 10 Kalashnikovs, seven pistols, 1250 ammunitions and 40 metre detonator cord. Rangers spokesperson said that the killed and arrested militants were planning to carry out major terror activities in Karachi. List of religious ceremonies, kidnapping for ransom, sensitive installations and officials playing role in Karachi operation were among in their list.

Meanwhile, Karachi police claimed to have arrested some 17 suspects in various raids carried out in different parts of the city. Police said that the accused persons arrested were including bandits, street criminals, extortionists and drug paddlers. Police claimed to have recovered weapons and narcotics from the possession arrested accused persons.