RealNews

Pakistan arrests key Al-Qaeda operative

Pakistani security forces have arrested a key Al-Qaeda operative wanted in connection with attacks on Christian targets and a failed bid to kill President Pervez Musharraf, an official said. Osama Nazir, considered an important catch, was nabbed from the industrial city of Faisalabad in central Punjab province on Tuesday, a senior security official told AFP. Nazir headed a group of 24 militants and masterminded the March 2002 attack on a Church in Islamabad’s high security diplomatic enclave in which five people including a US diplomat’s wife and stepdaughter were killed. He was also involved in the August 5, 2002 attack on the Murree Christian School, northeast of Islamabad, in which six Pakistani guards were killed, and August 9 attack on the Christian Hospital chapel in Taxila, west of Islamabad. Four Pakistani nurses and one of the attackers were killed, while 26 people were wounded in Taxila attack. Officials said Nazir helped Amjad Farooqi, the Al-Qaeda lynchpin in Pakistan, in masterminding the December 25 attempt on Musharraf’s life. After Farooqi was killed, Nazir assumed his position in Pakistan and he was working with the two most wanted Al-Qaeda external operatives Abu Faraj Farj, a Libyan and Abu Hamza, an Egyptian. The United States has offered five million dollars for the arrest of either man. The Pakistan government had also announced two million rupees reward for the arrest of Nazir. Nazir’s arrest is the latest in a series of high profile arrests of Al-Qaeda operatives made by Pakistani security forces since May. Full Story

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