Diamer Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Roy Ajmal on Friday said that a joint investigation team probing attacks on schools in the area had found that 22 suspects in police custody are responsible for the acts.

On the night of August 2, more than a dozen schools — half of which were girls-only centres — had been burned down in Diamer by unidentified assailants.

An initial report suggested that miscreants carried out the attacks in an organised manner, first vandalising the buildings and then setting them ablaze. It also said that important evidence uncovered during the investigation suggested involvement by foreigners and some local facilitators. An operation was subsequently launched in the area to track down and arrest the culprits.

During a progress meeting on the Diamer operation chaired by Inspector General of Police Gilgit Baltistan Sanaullah Abbasi, SSP Ajmal said that 25 cases had been registered against various miscreants in Chilas, Tangir and Darel.

He said that 87 suspects were picked up during the operation, out of which a JIT had found 22 suspects responsible, while the other 65 were set free after the investigation.

"This way, all cases have been traced," the SSP told the meeting, adding that the police is actively working towards finding all the other terrorists still at large in the region.

The SSP also put forth the demand for a security equipment vehicle and more transport for the police, while telling the participants of the meeting that the operation is taking longer to complete because the police does not have the facilities it requires.

As the briefing ended IG Abbasi thanked the army and other law enforcement agencies for helping with the Diamer operation.