70 Uzbeks arrested over Quetta blasts

Published November 6, 2006

QUETTA, Nov 5: Police raided different areas of Quetta on Sunday and arrested about 100 suspects in connection with a car bomb explosion in front of the Central Police Office on Thursday.

According to police sources, most of the suspects are Uzbeks from northern Afghanistan and suspected to be involved in the Quetta bomb blasts.

“We have arrested around 70 Uzbeks and handed them over to the authorities concerned for interrogation,” SSP Quetta Qazi Abdul Wahid told Dawn.

“Seven of them belong to the Northern Alliance, ” he said.

He said it had been ascertained that the driver killed in the blast was not involved in the act. The owner of the van stated that the man killed in the blast was his younger brother.

The SSP said that two Uzbeks riding a scooter had come to his (owner’s) brother Ghulam Hussain at Toghi road and hired his Suzuki van for taking a pushcart to their home for Rs200. None of them sat with him in the van and told him to fallow their scooter.

“The explosive device had been planted in the pushcart that was loaded into the Suzuki. The device went off when it reached in front of the Central Police Office,” the SSP said, adding that the Uzbeks disappeared after the blast. He said police had also taken a property dealer into custody who had arranged a rented house for them.

Meanwhile, Obaidullah Afghan, a spokesman for the Kandahar-based Mirwais Baba Movement, told journalists in Chaman on satellite phone that this organisation was behind the Quetta blasts. He said that if blasts in Afghanistan were not stopped more explosions would be carried out in Pakistan.

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