“A group involved in Peshawar’s Army Public School (APS) attack has been busted,” Director General (DG) of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said.
In a press briefing here, Bajwa said the APS attack was carried out on the directions of Mulla Fazlullah, who selected Umar Ameer to supervise the attack.
Giving details of the group, the DG ISPR said it was a 27-member group of which 12 were arrested, 9 terrorists killed in encounter while the rest are still at large.
“The security forces are hot on the trail of the remaining six terrorists,” he said. Six suicide bombers were selected for this purpose. Other terrorists involved in this attack included Commander Asif alias Haji Kamran, Commander Atiq-ur-Rehman, Kaif Qari, Mudassir, Taj, Misbah, Hazrat Ali, Sabeel alias Yahya, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, Saddam, Khurshid and Jabbani, he said.
Maj Gen. Bajwa said that one of the facilitators included an Imam Masjid who hosted three attackers for a night near APS Peshawar. Bajwa said six suspects were also arrested in Afghanistan.
The DG ISPR said the arrest in Afghanistan came after Chief of Army Staff met Afghanistan President and other officials in Kabul after APS attack. He said that interrogation with the arrested suspects is underway.
He thanked Afghanistan government for extending cooperation on bordering areas. In the past, he said, terrorists took advantage of loopholes in border management and communication, but now, he added that bilateral cooperation is growing while border management has also improved.
To a question, the ISPR chief said over two thousand terrorists have so far been killed in operations Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber-One. He said 226 army personnel were martyred and 823 injured. He said most parts of North Waziristan and Khyber Agencies have been cleared except a couple of small pockets along Afghanistan borders.
Replying to a question, the Director-General ISPR said the gang busted had linkages with other incidents of terrorism including in Rawalpindi, Peshawar Meena Bazar attack and attacks at Tarnol and at an Imambargah in Peshawar area.