NEW DELHI: A gunman wounded during a brazen terrorist attack on Pakistan’s military headquarters was also a ringleader in the assault on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March and may have been involved in an assassination attempt on the former president Pervez Musharraf, police say.Aqeel Ahmed, a notorious insurgent who used the alias Dr Usman, was among the heavily-armed gang wearing military uniforms who staged an 18-hour siege of the Pakistani Army headquarters in Rawalpindi on Saturday and Sunday.He sustained multiple gunshot wounds during an operation by Pakistani commandos to free hostages taken by the attackers but he survived and is now recovering in custody.In all, 19 people, including six soldiers, two commandos, eight terrorists and three hostages were killed during the siege, but 39 people held captive by the terrorists were freed.After the attack authorities said they had recovered 18 AK-47 assault rifles, a rocket launcher and grenades all believed to have been sourced in Afghanistan.Hours after the hostage drama ended, Pakistani fighters bombed Taliban positions in South Waziristan near the Afghan border. Government officials say a major ground offensive against militants in the lawless province is imminent.A senior police officer in Lahore told the Herald the arrest of Aqeel Ahmed was a breakthrough in the investigation into the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March, as well as other terrorist strikes.”He is now hospitalised but when the doctors say he is fit to make statements we will interrogate him,” the officer said.”It is an important arrest. From our point of view it’s a big breakthrough. We are hoping that he will give us new clues in the days to come.”The attack on the Sri Lankan team had similarities to the assault on the Pakistani Army headquarters.On March 3 a group of eight to 12 gunmen ambushed a convoy including the Sri Lankan cricket team bus and a vehicle carrying two Australian umpires near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.Seven people including six policemen were killed during the attack and several Sri Lankan players injured.None of the attackers was captured at the scene, although Aqeel is the second suspected gunmen to be arrested subsequently. He is believed to be a former Pakistani soldier who worked in an army medical corps. Police suspect he was involved in an attempt to assassinate General Musharraf in 2006. They believe he also planned the suicide bombing that killed the army surgeon-general, Hafiz Mirza Muhammad Mushtaq Baig, last year.Aqeel is a member of the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and has links with a group affiliated with the Taliban based in southern Punjab, investigators say.Police in Rawalpindi have arrested up to 20 people suspected of involvement in the brazen assault on the army headquarters. Two police uniforms and one military uniform were found in a house on the outskirts of Rawalpindi.The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speaking during a visit to London, said militants were threatening the authority of the Pakistani state, but she saw no evidence they were going to succeed, or that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was at risk.
Nanjing Night Net