Plot to target Balochistan governor thwarted

QUETTA – Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti claimed the security forces on Wednesday foiled a subversive plot to target Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai and apprehended two suspected suicide attackers from Gulistan, a tehsil of district Qilla Abdullah which lies in the northwest of the province.

The security forces also seized suicide jackets, anti-tank mines, rockets, mortar shells and other subversive materials during the raid, the home minister revealed addressing a press conference along with DIG Police Abdur Razzaq Cheema.

“The security forces, in a successful raid, foiled a suicide attack on Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai in Tehsil Gulistan – his hometown – and rounded up two terrorists besides recovering suicide jackets as well as other explosive materials from them,” Bugti told media men at the press conference.

The suspected bombers were identified as Hamid Bashir (son of Muhammad Bashir) from the Punjab and Munawar (son of Muhammad Shafi) from Gulistan, alleged operatives of TTP Pakistan’s splinter Qari Group.

The home minister added the same group which had killed Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada in a terror hit had hatched a subversive plot in Afghanistan to target the Balochistan governor which the security forces foiled and held the culprits.

The home minister, sharing details of the investigation into the church attack, said fingerprints of the bombers couldn’t be verified by National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) which meant they were foreigners.

Lauding the law-enforcement agencies, Bugti said they were working to ensure safety of public lives and had foiled scores of terror plots. He said foolproof security arrangements for lawmakers and officers were being made.

Deputy Inspector General Quetta Police Abdur Razaaq Cheema, addressing the press conference, said security of all churches had been beefed up following the attack on Methodist Church while additional contingents of police would be deployed around churches on the occasion of Christmas.

“In view of security concerns, religious rituals of the Christian community will span over just four days (till January 1) and during this period the main gates will remain closed,” Cheema said.

He stated volunteers of Christian community would also discharge security responsibilities for the security and safety of churches while CCTV cameras were being installed in this regard.

“Probe into the church suicide attack is underway. The parts of the bombers’ bodies have been sent to Punjab Forensic Laboratory and the explosives used in the blast along the CCTV footage to Lahore for investigation,” Abdur Razzaq affirmed. The fingerprints of terrorists had been also despatched for identification, he added.

Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri commended the law-enforcement agencies’ personnel for foiling terror plot to kill the Balochistan governor. He directed the security forces to further tighten security measures across the province to avert any untoward incident.

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