KARACHI: A suicide bomber yesterday blew himself up when security officials swooped on him in Kehkashan Society. The dead was living in Karachi for years and wanted in high-profile cases, the metropolis police said. He was also arrested over his involvement in kidnapping for ransom case a couple of years ago but released on bail.

“Backed by intelligence officials and paramilitary soldiers, the District Malir policemen raided the hideout of terrorist, identified as Farhan alias Pehlwan, in Al-Falah police limits,” Senior Superintendent Police Rao Anwar said. He told the media that as the lawmen closed in on him, the terrorist started firing wounding Sacchal SHO Muhammad Shoaib, alias Shooter, and constable Shafiq. The injured were taken to the Combined Military Hospital.

SSP Anwar said, “We had information that the (bomber's) group targeted some important police officers and government officials. We have identified him as Farhan, the name which he was using to live in this house, but he was also known as Pehlwan.” He added: “We are carrying out further investigation. His criminal record would soon be released.” Farhan, also known as Faisal Malik, had links with Punjabi Taliban Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and other militant groups. He was involved in various terror activities in Karachi.

“He had been involved in various high profile target killings of cops in Karachi,” Sohrab Goth SHO Aziz Shaikh said. He was involved in the targeted killing of Steel Town DSP Fateh Sangri on May 1 He also killed Sindh High Court security chief DSP Zulfiqar Zaidi on May 9, Quaidabad DSP Majeed Abbas on June 9 and former Hyderabad Jail Superintendent Aijaz Haider on May 15, the cop added.

The police also detained the house owner and a neighbour in connection with probe. The weapon used by the suspect was sent to a forensics lab for further investigation. Police and Rangers personnel sealed off the entry and exit routes of the area after the incident.

Earlier this month, Karachi Police AIG Mushtaq Maher claimed that 3,000 hardcore criminals had been arrested, while 246 terrorists, 38 kidnappers and ten extortionists had been killed so far in police encounters.

Rangers spokesman Colonel Amjad maintained that 913 terrorists including 550 target killers were nabbed while 15,400 illegal weapons were recovered from the custody of criminals operating within the city. The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s commercial hub was initiated back in September 2013 after the federal cabinet empowered Rangers to lead a targeted advance with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

A high-level apex committee meeting chaired by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif on May 14 decided to implement effective policing and surveillance in the "vast suburbs of Karachi", to prevent what the military spokesperson said were "sneaking terrorist attacks".