3 TTP Militants Sentenced in JIAP Karachi Attack
KARACHI: Three suspects involved in attack on Karachi's Jinnah International Airport - June 2014, are indicted on Saturday by the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Karachi.
The three suspects — Sarmad Siddiqui, Asif Zaheer and Nadeem alias Burger (also alias Mullah) — were produced in court amid tight security. All three pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
The court has now summoned all witnesses in the case for the next hearing scheduled for March 14.
An ATC in 2014 had remanded Siddiqui, Zaheer and Nadeem for allegedly providing logistical support, funds and weapons to the militants that attacked the Karachi airport.
At that time, the Investigating Officer (IO) had submitted a report which said that the suspects were arrested on Oct 28 and two of them were found carrying unlicensed weapons.
The IO had contended that during initial interrogation the suspects had disclosed that they purchased 9mm and CF 98 pistols by using the license of arms dealer Hameedur Rehman and handed over the weapons to Malik Mumtaz Awan and others.
The brazen five-hour attack by militants took place at Karachi's international airport last year killing 28 people, including 10 attackers.
The attack had started late Sunday when gunmen disguised as police guards stormed the terminal after opening fire with machine guns and a rocket launcher. This attack led to the launching of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in North Waziristan to control growing militancy in the country.
The same year, the attack's mastermind Abu Abdul Rehman al Maani was killed during overnight airstrikes in 2014 carried out in action by fighter jets controlled jointly by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Pakistan Army in North Waziristan.
Intelligence and military sources had told Dawn that Abu Abdur Rehman Al Maani was considered a key commander of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), also now famous by the name of Islamic Movement of Turkestan. The IMU, an organisation of militants mostly from the central Asian Uzbek state, had claimed that its suicide bombers had carried out the attack in alliance with TTP.
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