#AceNewsServices – ISLAMABAD – April 18 – Police said on Friday they have arrested six men suspected of being behind a string of high-profile killings and assassination attempts linked to a banned sectarian group.
The arrests are a rare success for the police, who have a notoriously low detection and prosecution rate for such crimes.
Police said the six suspects are responsible for killing 16 people over the last two years and for four attempted murders.
Their victims are believed to include a lawyer, a well-known Pakistani journalist, and a prominent Shia doctor and his 12-year-old son gunned down on their way to school.
They are also thought to be behind an attack last month in which writer Raza Rumi, a vocal critic of the Taliban, was wounded and his driver killed.
The men are connected to banned sectarian group Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, the police statement said, and have admitted receiving instructions from its leader Malik Ishaq.
“These cruel criminals are involved in these heinous crimes by pretending to be a religious group, including crimes like murder, attempted murder, kidnap for ransom, illegal armament and drugs,” the statement said.
The statement identified Abdul Rauf Gujjar as the main hit-man in the killings.
“He came to this direction through Malik Ishaq,” the statement said.
“He further revealed that he was a member of illegal and outlawed organization Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.”
Ishaq spent 14 years in jail on terrorism and attempted murder charges that were eventually dropped in 2011, partly due to witness intimidation, police said.
Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for killing hundreds of Shia’s, who make up about 20 per cent of Pakistan’s population.
The militant group wants to chase Shia’s out of Pakistan and establish a hard-line Sunni theocratic state in the nuclear-armed nation of 180 million people.
The Pakistani government has often been accused of being soft on militants, and the largely poorly trained and under-resourced police usually struggle to investigate and arrest suspects.
Friday’s statement said that a special unit had discovered forensic evidence implicating the men, and that drugs and weapons had also been recovered.
Arrests do not always lead to convictions, however, and Pakistan’s courts have a very low conviction rate even for high-profile cases of militancy. Judges and prosecutors complain they are frequently intimidated by militants.
Reuters – Dawn – AFP – AP
#AceWorldNews says a policeman in Bahrain has died of wounds sustained during a bomb blast at a protest marking the third anniversary of the country’s uprising, the interior minister said Saturday morning.
The two servicemen were initially hurt when an explosion hit a bus carrying them in the coastal village in Muharraq, Bahrain’s second-largest island.
Another three policemen were injured by an explosion near the village of Dih, while 38 demonstrators were injured in clashes.
The demonstrations were commemorating the 2011 unrest demanding more rights and an end to discrimination against the majority Shia community in the Sunni kingdom.
#AceWorldNews says In a statement read out during a formal meeting this evening Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Permanent Representative of Jordan, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for the month, the 15-nation body deplored the recent surge in violence in Anbar province, where, for the past week, media reports have citied deadly clashes between Iraqi-Troops and Al-Qaeda-Affiliated-Fighters.
Condemning the attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) “against the people of Iraq in an attempt to destabilize the country and region,” the Council recognized that Iraqi security forces, local police and tribes in Anbar province are showing great courage as they fight to defeat ISIL in their cities.
“The Security Council urges the people of Iraq, including Iraqi tribes, local leaders, and Iraqi security forces in Anbar province, to continue, expand and strengthen their cooperation against violence and terror,” said the 15-member body, stresses the critical importance of continued national dialogue and unity.
The Council in its statement welcomed comments from Grand Ayatollah Sistani welcoming internally displaced residents of Anbar to Najaf and Karbala, as well as the commitment of a number of communities – Sunni, Shia and Kurd – to meet the needs of the displaced.
Expressing its strong support for the continued efforts of the Iraqi Government to help meet the security needs of the entire population of Iraq, the Council acknowledged the efforts of the Iraqi security forces and local police, “whose members are also being targeted and killed in ongoing attacks by terrorists”
The Council went on to welcome the Government’s commitment in the protection of the civilian population in Fallujah and elsewhere, and to the provision of humanitarian relief. It encouraged the Government to continue working with the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and humanitarian agencies to ensure the delivery of relief aid.
Concerned about the impact of the violence on civilians, the 15-nation body encouraged the safe passage of civilians trapped in conflict areas, as well as the safe return of internally displaced persons as conditions allow.
“The Security Council stresses the critical importance of continued national dialogue and unity, an inclusive political process, the holding of free and fair elections in April 2014, and the right to peaceful protest as guaranteed under the Iraqi Constitution,” the Council said, stressing its belief that this is vital to underpin a unified national stance against terrorism, and to ensure Iraq’s long-term security.
Reaffirming the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice, the Council members also reaffirmed that ISIL is subject to the arms embargo and assets freeze imposed by Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 2083 (2012).
The Council reaffirmed the need to combat all forms of terrorism and reiterated that “no terrorist act can reverse the path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Iraq, which is supported by the people and the Government of Iraq and the international community.”