Three female terrorists arrested in Sargodha raid: CTD

Source:  AFP Published in Law & Order on Monday, April 11, 2016

LAHORE: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Sargodha on Monday announced the arrest of three female suspected terrorists near the Lahore Road area.

The officials claimed to have recovered two suicide jackets and three hand grenades from the possession of the "lady terrorists", said to a CTD statement.

While conducting a raid in the Bypass Sem Nala area, CTD officials were shot at by two attackers, the statement said, adding that CTD officials fired back in self-defence.

The attackers fled and three female suspects were arrested while trying to escape, the CTD said.

The arrested women revealed the identities and addresses of their accomplicess, and special teams have been constituted and dispatched to arrest the two men, the statement said.

The south Punjab operation

The decision to conduct a security operation was taken after the horrific Gulshan-i-Iqbal park suicide attack in Lahore, which killed at least 72 people including women and children.

Military sources had stated the army and Rangers will conduct a widespread operation across Punjab to target militants, their facilitators and their hideouts, following the carnage in Lahore.

Sources had said the decision was taken during a high-level military huddle, chaired by Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while chairing a high-level security meeting in Lahore, had also called for more proactive coordination amongst law enforcement and intelligence agencies against terrorism.

Security forces earlier in April announced continuing military operations against banned outfits and their facilitators in the province.

Operations led by civil and military intelligence agencies will be launched by the army, Rangers, CTD and police as required, followed by constant review and regulation by the Joint Operations Coordination Committee.

Analysts believe that south Punjab, with thousands of seminaries and a history of having provided foot soldiers to militant and sectarian outfits for decades, now offers a promising opportunity for the militant Islamic State (IS) to strengthen its network in the region.

“The main battle has to be fought in the tribal backyard, but the job will remain half-done unless the militant sanctuaries and support networks in the cities both in southern and northern Punjab are completely dismantled,” warned a Lahore-based security analyst.