Pak Army kills Lahore attack mastermind in shelling across Afghan border: sources

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Pakistan Army conducted targeted strikes across the Afghan border on Thursday, killing two high-profile terrorists affiliated with Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, according to security sources.

Those killed included Wajihullah alias Ahrar, who was sponsored by a hostile intelligence agency for terrorist activities in Pakistan, security sources said. He was the mastermind of recent suicide attack in Lahore and earlier incidents in Punjab, they added.

On February 13, at least 14 people, including senior police officers, were martyred when a suicide bomber detonated himself near Lahore’s Charing Cross, where hundreds of demonstrators had gathered for a protest.

Another key figure, Hikmat alias Qari Zubair, was in-charge of a terrorist transit camp in Afghanistan and coordinated with a hostile intelligence agency for terrorist operation in Pakistan, sources said.

Of late, Pakistani military has conducted multiple surgical strikes on terrorist sanctuaries across the Pak-Afghan border, following a week of deadly terrorist attacks in the country in which over 100 people were killed. The strikes left scores of terrorists dead, who were attempting to regroup.

The first such strikes were conducted on Friday, hours after Afghan embassy officials were summoned to the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, where they were handed over a list of 76 terrorists orchestrating terrorist activities in Pakistan from Afghan soil.

Earlier this week, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa spoke over the phone to US General John Nicholson, Commander of Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan conveying his concerns over continued acts of terrorism in Pakistan from Afghanistan, a statement from Inter Services Public Relations read.

“Most of the incidents in Pakistan are claimed by terrorist organisations with leadership hiding in Afghanistan,” the army chief told Nicholson.

he COAS said that such terrorist activities and inaction against them are testing Pakistan’s current policy of cross-border restraint,” according to the statement.

On February 16, at least 88 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked the crowded Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, injuring up to 343 others, according to the director general of health services in Sindh. The powerful blast took place on the premises of the shrine as a dhamaal was taking place.

The attack in Sehwan was part of a recent wave of terrorist attacks in the country, and the fifth blast in less than a week targeting innocent people.

A day ago on February 15, three suicide bombers targeted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the adjoining tribal areas, killing around seven people.

One of the incidents occurred in Peshawar where a suicide bomber riding a motorbike hit a vehicle carrying civil judges, while two other suicide bombers blew themselves up at separate locations in Mohmand Agency.

Operation ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’

Pakistan on Wednesday launched a nationwide military operation ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’, which would include broad-spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab, and continuation of ongoing operations across the country.

The Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, civil armed forces as well as other security and law-enforcement agencies will continue to actively participate and support the efforts of the Pakistan Army to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country.

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