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Published On: Wed, Mar 8th, 2017

Suspected ISIS terrorist killed in Lucknow encounter

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thakurganj-encounter-crowd_650x400_71488954597LUCKNOW : A suspected terrorist, associated with the Khurasan module of the dreaded terror outfit ISIS, was killed after 12 hours of anti-terror operation by the Uttar Pradesh Police’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) commandos in Lucknow’s Thakurganj area.

The Lucknow operation began at 3.30 pm, when special commandos surrounded a house in Haji Colony of Thakurganj. The operation stretched till dawn and it was around 3 am when commandos blew up a wall to enter the house, and found Saifullah’s body, along with an ISIS flag and several weapons. He was killed at 2.56 am, according to the police.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary confirmed the operation was over with the killing of the IS operative. “After opening the doors of the house (where the terrorist was holed up), the force went inside and found the suspect dead along with weapons,” Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said.

Chaudhary said, initially it appeared that more than one person was holed up inside the house. Initially, it was suspected that there were two IS operatives inside the house but that turned out to be a false alarm as police found the body of only one.

Eight pistols, 650 rounds of ammo, 50 fired rounds, explosive materials, gold, cash, passports and SIM cards were recovered from the house where the alleged terrorist was killed. The IG ATS Aseem Arun confirmed that the slain terror suspect was an active member of the ISIS.
“The slain terror suspect belongs to the Khurasan module of the ISIS and was an active member. But, whether he has been indoctrinated or not is a matter of investigation,” Arun said.

The operation was initiatd by the ATS aftert it received information from the intelligence that Saifullah was allegedly involved in a train blast in Madhya Pradesh. The ATS wanted the IS operative to catch him alive, but all their efforts went in vain.

The operation began around 3.30 pm yesterday, when reports emerged that the police were hunting for two terror suspects hiding in the house. Other residents were warned against coming out of their homes while the operation was on.
A little before 5.30 pm, the police learnt that the suspect was Saifullah, and dialed his brother in an attempt to get him to surrender. After connecting with Kanpur-based Khalid, the police slid the mobile phone under a door. As Khalid tearfully begged his brother to surrender, he reportedly replied, “I won’t, I want martyrdom”.
Around 6.15 pm, the police used chilli bombs and tear gas to try and force Saifullah out of the house. Nothing worked, said anti-terror squad officer Aseem Arun. As it neared 7 pm, around four hours into the operation, the suspect was believed to have been wounded in firing by the commandos.
The police learnt from neighbours that the house was rented six months ago to four young men by a man called Badshah, who works in Saudi Arabia. The men had told neighbours that they were students.
At around 8.30 pm, the commandos called for a generator to switch on lights, and gas cutters to try and break the wall.Close to 10 pm, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh declared a terror alert for the entire country.
Around that time, the police also got proof that a suspect is alive. The man started firing an hour later. According to the police, he fired repeatedly and that is when the security personnel retaliated. The firing died down around 1 am. But it resumed an hour later, when the suspect tried to escape by breaking through the back wall.
Speaking to the media after the anti-terror operation was over, Arun said, “Efforts were made to catch the suspected terrorist (identified as Saifullah) alive, but unfortunately this did not materialise. We fired tear gas shells and chilly bombs, so that he comes out. But, he did not come out.”materialise. We fired tear gas shells and chilly bombs, so that he comes out. But, he did not come out.”
The ATS commandos then stormed inside the house (after issuing a warning to the terrorist), Arun said, adding “The suspected terrorist then fired at the ATS commandos, which was then appropriately retaliated by the ATS commandos. After this, two rooms were thoroughly searched and checked, and the person identified as Saifullah was found dead.”

Later, three persons were detained in connection with the blast.The blast took place in a general coach of the train near Jabdi station in Shajapur district between 9.30 AM and 10 AM, a railway official said.In a related development, another suspect of a sleeper module has been held from Kanpur by the ATS.

Police picked up two suspects from Lakhna in Etawah and three in Kanpur. Following the Lucknow gunfight, an alert has been sounded at the Lucknow International Airport and at prominent railway stations across the state. Police and intelligence officials have been directed to step up vigil and keep a close watch on busy thoroughfares, malls and markets.


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