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Punjab CM announces arrest of Lahore suicide blast 'facilitator'

Updated Feb 17, 2017 11:09pm

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, while addressing a press conference in Lahore on Friday, claimed that the suspects involved in planning and carrying out the Feb 13 suicide bombing on a protest at Lahore's Charing Cross belonged to Afghanistan.

During the conference, Sharif also announced the arrest of an alleged facilitator of the attacker, who he said belonged to Fata's Bajaur Agency, which neighbours Afghanistan.

The suspect's confessional statement was aired during the briefing.

The suspect introduced himself as Anwar-ul-Haq, and said he hailed from a remote village in Bajaur Agency.

The suspected facilitator of the Feb 13 bombing.
The suspected facilitator of the Feb 13 bombing.

“I was associated with Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and they trained me,” said the suspect, adding that he has visited Afghanistan around 15 to 20 times.

Shahbaz Sharif urged Afghan residents residing in Pakistan to call out any person they find suspicious.

He said Pakistan had hosted Afghan migrants for more than 30 years, but some of them seemed to have turned their backs on the country.

"Please consider us your brothers and turn those you think are nefarious," he appealed.

The suicide bomber who targeted senior police officials during a protest in Lahore, killing 13 and wounding 85 others.
The suicide bomber who targeted senior police officials during a protest in Lahore, killing 13 and wounding 85 others.

Sharif voiced strong support for reviving military courts in the briefing, saying a lot of credit for curbing terrorism successfully in Pakistan went to them.

"PML-N government fully supports extending the tenure of military courts," he said, adding that it was "because of the fear of punishment that terror factions were hesitant before attacking".