Police in the Pakistan’s province of Sindh killed five suspected terrorists with links to both al Qaeda and Islamic State in the southern port city of Karachi. The suspects were gunned down in a shootout with police who raided a compound believed to be housing terrorists near the Sachal neighborhood of Karachi. Of those killed was Amir Sharif, an engineer by profession and found evidence that he was an expert in drone technology.
Rao Anwaar, a senior provincial police official, said, “An important al-Qaida member, Amir Sharif, was killed in this shootout. The other four people killed were previously in Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, later switched to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan [TTP], and lately, they have joined Islamic State.”
The gunned down suspects were planning a targeted attack in the city during the current Islamic month of Muharram. During this month, Shi’ite Muslims commemorate the death anniversary of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the prophet of Islam on the 10th day of the month. Extremists consider the ritual as blasphemous and as such take it upon themselves to cleanse the Islam of the individuals that take part in it.
In recent months, militants have increasingly become active in Karachi, the financial hub of Pakistan. Ansar al-Sharia is a new al-Qaida-inspired militant group that claims to act as a platform for fighters who have grown disaffected with the Islamic State militant group in the country. The group has recently emerged in Karachi.