TTP militants confess to carrying out Raja Bazaar attack disguised as Shias

Terrorists belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have confessed to carrying out an attack at a mosque in Rawalpindi’s Raja bazaar during Ashura in 2013.

The attack led to the deaths of nine people during initial firing and the clashes between the protesters that followed.

“My name is Bakht Shahzeb and I’m from Bajaur Agency,” said one of the terrorists in a confessional video released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Monday.

The DG ISPR announced the completion of Operation Khyber-IV in the Khyber Agency during his presser, achieving ground objectives in Rajgal and Shawal valleys.

According to Shahzeb, his group, comprising eight men, carried out the attack on the instructions of an Afghan commander Zahid Gul.

“We were directed to wear black clothes and pose as Shia mourners,” he said. “We were tasked to ensure that a clash takes place between people, belonging to the Shia and Sunni sects, present on the scene.”

Shahzeb said the militants had gathered at Abdul Rasheed’s house, their leader. “Other than the two of us, the group comprised Bakhsullah, Inayatur Rehman, Sultan Zeb Shina, Ajmal Khan, Abdul Razzaq and Lawang.”

One of the militants stabbed a number of people at the mosque’s entrance before setting the first floor on fire. Another militant began firing at those in attendance at the seminary. “Four of us went to the first floor, while the rest remained on the ground floor,” he added.

The Shia procession, Shahzeb added, by that time had reached nearby Fawara chowk and a clash between the two subsequently ensued.

“We fled the scene soon afterwards and returned to Bajaur Agency after 15 to 20 days and updated Zahid Gul of our progress.”

In the confessional video, another militant, Ajmal Khan, also resident of Bajaur Agency, said he was tasked with opening fire at the mosque and creating a chaos.

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