Lahore | Another Peshawar Army Public school-like attack was today foiled with the killing of eight al-Qaeda terrorists, authorities said. The al-Qaeda members had planned to attack Bahauddin Zakriya University in Multan in a pattern similar to the Army Public school in Peshawar in which over 100 schoolchildren were killed in December 2014.
There were intelligence reports that some 12 al-Qaeda members were gathering at Nawab Pur Multan, about 350 km from Lahore, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police said in a statement.
As they gathered at their hideout in the wee hours today in Nawab Pur, the CTD personnel and police commandos surrounded the house and warned them to surrender but they opened fire on the police team. The police returned the fire and as a result eight terrorists were killed, the CTD said.
However, four managed to escape, it said. The CTD said one of the dead al-Qaeda member has been identified as Tayyab Nawaz alias Mateen. He was the mastermind behind the attack on Parade Lane Mosque, Rawalpindi in which 40 people mostly the serving and retired army officials and their children were killed in December 2009. The CTD further said Mateen was a main leader of al-Qaeda in Multan district as he was the head of finance and logistics of the banned organisation.
Other deceased have been identified as Muneeb, Zeeshan and Abu Dajana. These al-Qaeda members had planned to launch an attack in Bahauddin Zakriya University Multan. But the timely action of the law enforcement agencies has foiled it, the CTD said.
A huge quantity of explosives, hand grenades, weapons including Kalashnikoves, short-range guns and pistols have been recovered from their hideout. Four al-Qaeda men were killed yesterday in Gujranwala district of Punjab province in a shootout by Pakistani counter-terrorism forces.