Saturday, October 10, 2009

Attack on General Head Quarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army foiled

An attempt to attack the General Head Quarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army here on Saturday was foiled and the situation was brought under control within an hour. Four terrorists were killed while a senior Brigadier, a Lt.Col and four army personnel embraced martyrdom.

According to DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas 4 to 5 terrorists who managed to enter the security office in the GHQ Compound were holding ten to fifteen security personnel hostage, Army commandos had surrounded the building and till the time of filing this report efforts were on to capture them alive. The lights of the entire GHQ complex had ben switched off and complete black out was imposed as part of the strategy to nab the terrorists holed up in the Security office.

Giving the details, Major General Athar Abbas told the media that the terrorists clad in military commandos uniform came at 11:00 am in a white pickup which had an army number plate. They opened fire when they were stopped at the first check post of the GHQ along the Mall. Terrorists hurled hand grenades and advanced towards the second check post where intense exchange of firing took place which continued for an hour.

Major General Abbas said that since the terrorists were in military uniform it confused the guards at the first check post and the terrorists opened fire on them during checking of their identity.

The choppers were also called to help the security forces during operation. Security forces surrounded the area after the incident while the shops and business centers in the adjoining areas were closed. Some suspects have also been held. Meanwhile the Interior Minister Rehman Malik has disclosed that the police in Islamabad in a raid on a house in Dhok Awan area of the Federal Capital have found relevant evidence that linking the house to the GHQ attack. Two The owner of the house had been taken into custody and search for the Estate Agent was going on.

Rehman Malik said eleven suspected terrorists had been living in the rented house. Police recovered army uniforms, detonators, fuses, army boots and fake ID cards of FC and army commandos and maps. The outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the abortive attack on GHQ. The Taliban had already claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on Monday on World Food Programme office in Islamabad, which killed five aid workers.

Several bomb blasts in the past two-and-a-half weeks in the northwest have killed dozens, with the Taliban threatening to unleash bigger assaults. There was a lull in bomb attacks after Baitullah Mehsud’s death in an August 5 US drone strike, but analysts had warned that the new Taliban leadership would likely be keen to show their strength with fresh, dramatic strikes. Banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Amjad Farooqi Group, has claimed responsibility for the GHQ attack, saying it was in retaliation to increasing US influence in Pakistan.

An unidentified caller, claiming himself to be the spokesman of the group, telephoned a private TV channel after the attack and threatened to continue such attacks till all the US bases are closed, Blackwater security firm is sent packing from Pakistan and offices of all foreign NGOs are closed down. So far unknown Amjad Farooqi Group is thought to be part of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group as Amjad Farooqi, a former member of banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, is believed to be the mastermind of two attacks in Rawalpindi on December 14 and December 25 2003, on the life of former President Pervez Musharraf.

Amjad Farooqi, alias Amjad Hussain, was also accused for killing American journalist Deniel Pearl. Farooqi was killed in a gun-battle with security forces in a house in southern Sindh on September 26, 2004. The group is reported to have set up dumping stations in Southern Punjab and one of which exploded in Mian Channu in which many innocent people lost their lives.

According to reports, Punjab I.G. Police had alerted the security agencies and the army in his secret report on July 15 that TTP was planning attacks at the GHQ and that the terrorists would be in the guise of military personnel wearing uniforms. Amjad Farooqi has been in the limelight after the killing of Jewish journalist Deniel Pearl on December 01, 2002 and later two attacks on the former President. However, the group, which claimed the latest attack, was so far unknown.

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday strongly condemned the terrorist attack at General Headquarters. The Foreign Minister said such terrorist acts cannot weaken the government’s resolve to fight the menace of terrorism. He also saluted the security guards who embraced martyrdom, sacrificing their lives for Pakistan and its people. Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira also strongly condemned the terrorist attack at General Headquarters, Rawalpindi.

In a message issued here, he said Pakistan is committed to wipe out terrorism and continue chasing terrorists till their complete annihilation. He said the terrorists cannot weaken the national resolve to fight the menace of terrorism as the whole nation and all political parties are united against this menace.

Mentioning the recent terrorists acts at World Food Programme (WFP) Office at Islamabad and blasts at Peshawar in which innocent people lost their lives, he said now they have targeted country’s security forces, but “I must say the entire nation extends fullest support to the security forces which are determined and engaged in purging the country from terrorists.”

We are committed. We have to fight terrorism and get rid of this menace as such attacks cannot weaken our resolve, “ he added. President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the terrorist attack at General Headquarters Rawalpindi. President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani in their separate messages said such terrorist acts cannot weaken the national resolve to fight the menace of terrorism till its complete elimination.

Pak Army completed the operation with great expertise:Interior Minister, Rahman Malik

Interior Minister, Rahman Malik has said that Pak Army commandos have completed the operation with great expertise.

Talking to Geo News, Interior Minister, Rahman Malik congratulated the nation on the completion of the successful operation in the GHQ building. Rahman Malik said that they had information of terrorists being armed with hand grenades and one suicide bomber has taken hostage of 22 personnel in a room and, therefore, the commandos at the very outset of their skillful launched operation firstly killed this suicide bomber, saving the situation from leading to any huge loss.

Rahman Malik said that this attack was not the failure of the security forces, as the terrorists when tried to attack on Saturday morning, the security men were alert, who timely intercepting them killed four of the terrorists.

Rahman Malik said that Pakistan was being destablilised and the terrorists were receiving arms from Afghanistan. He said that attack on the GHQ was aimed at seeking publicity by drawing attention of the world. “There is a threat to the lives of the country’s known personalities”, he disclosed. He said that 56 suspect terrorists have been taken into custody from Islamabad and its surroundings.

Eight to ten terrorists involved in GHQ attack: ISPR

Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said late Saturday night that eight to ten terrorists were involved in the General Headquarter attack. Talking to media, he said according to preliminary investigations “It looks that about eight to ten terrorists were involved in the GHQ attack.”

He added that security forces had killed four terrorists while four to five of them escaped from the scene and took shelter in a nearby security office. He said all terrorists were dressed up in camouflage uniform, who were riding a Suzuki van bearing army number, attacked the checkpost No. 1. Later, they headed towards Checkpost No. 2 where they were again intercepted by security forces.

The DG ISPR added that four to five terrorists present in the security office building near checkpost No.2 have made hostage about 10 to 15 civilian working there. He said the security forces have surrounded the area.


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