LAHORE: Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) picked up some suspects early on Friday from the Garhi Shahu area of the city for interrogation into Wednesday’s Data Darbar suicide blast.

“The teams investigating the case raided a shop and a premises in Garhi Shahu locality and took into custody a few suspects after some CCTV footage led the teams to the area,” a senior police officer told Dawn.

Refusing to share their exact number and identity, the officer said the LEAs were questioning the suspects. He rejected media reports about any breakthrough in the case investigation.

Meanwhile, another injured admitted to Maya Hospital in a critical condition succumbed to his wounds on Friday, raising the death toll to 12.

A doctor said Muddassar, 19, of Lohari Gate was among the four injured who were brought to the hospital in a life-threatening condition. He underwent complicated surgeries and was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit where he expired.

Death toll rises to 12; five-member joint investigation team formed

A senior police official said that a section of the electronic media was running the footage of a young man clad in black suit, suspecting him as a facilitator in the Data Darbar blast. “This media package is based upon mere speculation.”

He said the LEAs were questioning a few suspects in connection with the bombing and it would be premature to reach any conclusion.

In response to a question, he said that the investigation so far had confirmed that the teenage boy detected by the CCTV cameras a few minutes before the deadly attack was involved in the blast.

He said the LEAs had found body parts of the teenage bomber at the crime scene. They also found his shoes at the crime spot, the police official said, adding that no body part of any other person was found at the scene. The report about his fingerprints sent for analysis would be received in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) said a section of the electronic media was airing speculation by mixing video footage from two separate CCTV camera systems.

He said the CTD was working on a few leads through multiple teams of officers and details would be shared once a credible breakthrough was made.

The Punjab government on Friday constituted a five-member joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the suicide blast. Sohaib Ashraf, Superintendent of Police at the CTD, Punjab, is convener of the JIT. Its other members belong to the Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence and an investigation officer from the CTD, Lahore.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2019