RAWALPINDI - The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) rounded up some 14 alleged target killers during a crackdown on guesthouses, motels and hotels in Murree here on Wednesday.

“All the detainees are involved in target killing in Karachi and have been on the run to avoid arrest in targeted operation against them by police and Rangers. They are staying in Murree along with their families while throwing mud into the eyes of LEAs,” said a police officer while talking to The Nation, seeking anonymity. They were spending ‘holidays’ here, he added.

The operation was launched jointly by officials of intelligence agencies and Murree police, the officer disclosed. He said that all the arrested alleged target killers were shifted to an undisclosed location for further integration.

According to the police officer, the target killers were on the run from the ongoing operation against them in Karachi and were hiding in Murree. “They have come along with their families and are also carrying out their anti-social activities at night by looting tourists in the resort.”

He said that a soaring crime rate in Murree forced the LEAs to comb the area and purge the resort of these criminals. He said the names of the arrested accused would not be disclosed because of the security reasons.

On the other hand, SP Rawal Town Syed Jamat Ali Shah, who has been holding acting charge of SP Saddar, when contacted, was unaware about the police action in Murree. He said that he had no knowledge about the developments in the hilly area. When asked as to why he (SP) was trying to hide information from the media, the SP replied “Yes, Intelligence Bureau (IB) raiding in Murree to arrest suspicious elements. And Rawalpindi police are assisting them.”

Agencies add: Those arrested included Shoaib, Idrees, Sajjad, Shahid Qadri, Khalid Mehmood, Danish, Muhammad Asim, Naeem, Imran, Maqsood, Aamir, Basharat and Muhammad Ahmed. Three among the detainees, Basharat Abbasi, Muhammad Ahmad Abbasi and another, belonged to Murree and were facilitating the killers.

Police said they were wanted by various police stations of Karachi in several cases of extortion, robberies, target killings and other crimes. It may be mentioned that a key accused of Lyari gang war, Ameen Baleedi, was arrested from Lahore two days ago along with his two accomplices.

The police said target killers and extortionists had started shifting to others cities of Punjab, especially the summer stations, after the operation against them was accelerated in Karachi.

Earlier, media reports revealed that dozens of target killers from militant wings of political parties had left Karachi and gone to other parts of the country.