Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed's son Talha escapes assassination attempt, incident brings fissures within terror outfit

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 13 Dec 2019

Islamabad: Hinting in what might be an outcome of a divide within terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, its chief and India's 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed's son Talha Saeed recently escaped an assassination attempt in a bombing incident close to Pakistan's Lahore city.

 At least seven other Lashkar supporters were critically injured and one died in the attack, sources told Indian news portal Firstpost.


The bombing occurred at a religious meeting at the Jamia Masjid Ali-o-Murtaza on Muhammad Ali Road in Lahore’s Township neighbourhood, reported the portal. Pakistan had earlier described it as an accidental gas cylinder explosion, reported the portal in an exclusive article.


Police had told Firstpost that Hafiz Mahmood, a 22-year-old air-conditioning handyman, was killed in the explosion. Twenty-five-year old Ahsaan, 20-year-old Abdul Ghafoor 22-year-old Abu Bakr, 60-year-old Muhammad Afaq and 40-year-old Muhammad Aslam were also reportedly injured in the bombing. 


The Lashkar leaders in the nation have been reportedly divided over the suspects behind the attack.


According to media reports, some have claimed that India might be behind it while others have said divisions within the organisation could have resulted in the attack.


Talha Saeed’s rise as his father’s successor and his control of Lashkar finances have angered senior leaders in the terrorist organisation, the source told Firstpost.


“The fact that the Lashkar’s usually very tight security was breached suggests all is not well in the organisation,” said London-based scholar Ayesha Siddiqa, an expert on jihadist groups in the organisation, to Firstpost. “It’s obviously impossible to say who the perpetrator of the attack maybe, but it’s clear all is not well within its hierarchy.”


A Pakistan court recently indicted Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and four others who were booked in July for offences pertaining to terror financing.


The bombing came hours after  Hafiz Saeed was produced  in a Lahore court to face terror-financing charges.


Saeed and others were present in the court during the court proceedings on Wednesday.


Saeed's lawyer presented the argument against the indictment in the court.


After filing charges, the court summoned the prosecution's witnesses. ATC-I judge Malik Arshad Bhutta, who heard the case, adjourned proceedings until tomorrow, reported Dawn News earlier.


On July 17, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Punjab Police registered 23 FIRs against Saeed and his accomplices on the charges of "terror financing" in different cities of Punjab province and arrested the Saeed.


Last Saturday, the court had delayed the indictment owing to unavailability of one of the suspects in a case registered by the CTD on charges of terror financing.


Hafiz is also the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in India in 2008.  

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