Top Al-Qaeda leader killed in Balochistan: Sarfaraz Bugti


QUETTA: Security forces killed a senior al Qaeda commander and detained his wife in an overnight raid on his hideout in Balochistan, provincial home minister Sarfaraz Bugti said on Sunday.


The security forces also took the couple’s two young daughters into custody during the raid in the Chaghi district.

“An important al Qaeda commander – Umar Lateef, a Pakistani national – was killed in an encounter with local security agencies,” Bugti told reporters.

Umar Lateef had established an al Qaeda network and was supervising its “terrorist activities and providing travel and logistical facilities to terrorists in both Balochistan and south Punjab as well as in Afghanistan,” he added.

Bugti said Punjab had offered a reward of Rs2 million for Lateef and half a million rupees for his wife, who was head of al Qaeda’s women’s wing in south Punjab and Baluchistan.

His wife is being interrogated by security officials.

Al Qaeda announced last September it was setting up a chapter in the sub-continent to counter the spread of the rival Islamic State group, which controls a broad swathe of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Security forces launched a major military operation against Taliban and al Qaeda-led militants in FATA in June 2014.

The operation intensified in December after Taliban militants attacked a school in Peshawar and killed more than 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.