An anti-terrorism court in Quetta on Thursday acquitted 15 accused due to lack of evidence who were arrested in 2013 over allegations of carrying out bomb explosions.
Quetta police had arrested 15 children in March 2013 claiming they were involved in carrying out over 20 bomb explosions in the provincial capital. The news had made headlines in national media and was also picked up by international outlets.
The children — as young as 11 years old then — remained in captivity of police since their arrest.
ATC-1 Judge Muhammad Dawood Nasar acquitted the accused as police failed to produce evidence before the court. Human rights activist Jalila Haider and Advocate Mukesh Kohli were counsels for the accused.
"The children are likely to be released by tomorrow after completion of legal procedure," Jalila Haider told DawnNewsTv on Thursday evening.
Police had claimed that the children arrested in various raids were associated with the banned United Baloch Army (UBA) and were involved in a series of bomb explosions in the city. The children remained under trail at ATC Quetta for over five years since their arrest.
The court also issued permanent arrest warrants of the five accused in the same case over non appearance before the court despite repeated notices.