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LAHORE: The Punjab Police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) has arrested two suspects allegedly involved in the deadly blast in Lahore’s crowded Anarkali area earlier this year.

On January 20, three persons were killed and 33 people were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED), planted in a motorbike, exploded in front of a private bank in Paan Mandi area of New Anarkali.

The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) had initially believed that it was a gas cylinder explosion, but subsequent investigations suggested that it was an IED blast. The Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA), a newly-emerged alliance of BRA and UBA), had claimed responsibility for the blast.

A CTD Punjab spokesperson on Tuesday said that the terrorist attack was carried out to create terror among the masses and destabilise the country. After the episode, he said, the LEAs picked up dozens of suspects through intelligence-based operations.

“During these operations, previous terrorists activities in Fruit Mandi blast, Islamabad (April 19, 2014), Vehari Chowk IED blast, Multan (September 13, 2015) and Sabzi Mandi IED blast, Lahore (August 1, 2012)”, he claimed.

He said that while working on the leads developed through technical analysis and secret information received from credible human sources, it emerged that terrorists involved in the New Anarkali blast had left from Balochistan on a truck to carry out some terrorist activities in Lahore.

Acting on the lead, he added, the CTD teams traced the suspects, identified as Sana Ullah and Abdul Razziq, and apprehended them through an IBO upon their arrival in Lahore along with two prepared IEDs.

During the interrogation, the spokesperson claimed that the suspects confessed to their involvement in the blast and also disclosed the plan of two other terrorist activities in Lahore. He said they have seized two IEDs, a detonator, primacord, remote control and batteries from their possession.

“During the investigation, it came to light that a hostile intelligence agency of an enemy state was involved in this nefarious activity and it was planned in a neighbouring country”, he claimed and added that the CTD teams apprehended the alleged terrorists at a time when they were planning to carry out further terrorist attacks in Lahore and all the requisite planning, reconnaissance, preparation and transportation of IEDs for their nefarious activities had been completed.

He said the CTD teams traced the suspects in a highly-professional manner through technical analysis and actionable intelligence leads.

He added that the “terrorist network” was busted through the services of the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA), intelligence agencies and other technical methods.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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