Quetta hotel bomber was Afghan citizen, say CTD officials

Published April 25, 2021
In this April 21 photo. rescue workers and police officers arrive after an explosion at a the Serena Hotel in Quetta. — Reuters
In this April 21 photo. rescue workers and police officers arrive after an explosion at a the Serena Hotel in Quetta. — Reuters

QUETTA: The suicide attacker who blew up an explosives-laden vehicle at the Serena Hotel recently was an Afghan citizen as his fingerprints did not match those in the records of the National Database and Registration Authority, said officials of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on Saturday.

Another Afghan national could be living somewhere in Quetta as two men had reportedly crossed over into Pakistan, they said.

A CTD official said: “According to our information, two terrorists crossed the Afghan border and one of them carried out the hotel attack.”

He went on to add: “We are making all-out efforts to find the second terrorist.”

UNSC condemns terrorist attack

The CTD officials said that some important evidence had been found from the parking lot of the hotel where the blast took place. “Three teams comprising senior and experienced security personnel from various agencies are conducting an investigation into the attack based on the evidence found and other information,” one of them said.

The CTD also issued on Saturday a security alert which said the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan was apparently planning to kidnap important personalities and members of the business community for ransom.

An official message said a group of six persons had been formed to kidnap people for ransom. The leader of this group is named Makamal Afridi and it includes two Afridis, two Swatis and two Mohmands.

According to officials, orders have already been issued to all divisional officers to help foil the terrorist plan, and security personnel have been put on high alert across Balochistan.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council (UNSC) condemned the terrorist attack. The April 21 attack was claimed by the TTP.

In a statement issued at the UN headquarters, UNSC members also expressed their “deepest sympathy and condolences” to the families of the victims and to the government of Pakistan.

“Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” the members added while underlining “the need to hold perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice.”

Anwar Iqbal in Washington also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2021

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