Saturday, July 3, 2010
Lahore: Pakistani law enforcement agencies have arrested 12 suspects in connection with the twin suicide bombings at a famous Sufi shrine here and recovered sophisticated weapons and explosives from them, an official said on Saturday.
The suspects included “suicide bombers and their handlers,” a Punjab government spokesman said.
“They are key members of a number of gangs involved in major incidents of terrorism in the province,” the spokesman said.
Those arrested included terrorists and their accomplices who were allegedly involved in attacks on other places of worship and on a mosque at Parade Lane in Rawalpindi.
A huge quantity of sophisticated weapons and explosives as well as uniforms of various security agencies were recovered from the arrested persons, he said.
“Similarly, valuable information about various gangs of terrorists has been received,” he said.
The Punjab government believes the arrest of these “terrorists and saboteurs” is “a big achievement” that will help in curbing terrorism, he added.
More than 40 people were killed and over 200 injured when two suicide bombers blew themselves up on Thursday night in Data Darbar, the shrine of Persian Sufi saint Ali Hajweri, considered the patron saint of Lahore.
Meanwhile, police on Saturday said a resident of a village bordering India had mistakenly been identified as one of the suicide bombers.
Police had detained the relatives of Muhammad Rafiq alias Usman, aged about 20, in Hadyara village on Friday after coming to the mistaken conclusion that he was one of the attackers.
Rafiq’s relatives were freed after it was established that he was among the victims of the attack.
Rafiq’s kin said he visited the shrine every Thursday to offer prayers.
Picture: People gather for prayers on Friday at a mosque inside the Data Darbar, the shrine of Sufi saint Ali Hajweri, which was attacked by suicide bombers on Thursday night in Lahore. Photo: AP / The Hindu.