KARACHI, May 10: Police on Friday claimed to having found a clue to three suspects allegedly involved in suicide bombing on Wednesday, which left 14 people, including 11 French nationals, dead.

“We have still not found any Al-Qaeda connection in the suicide bombing”, the provincial police chief, Syed Kamal Shah, said while addressing a crowded news conference at the Driving Licence Branch in Clifton. Provincial Home Secretary Brig (Retd) Mukhtar Ahmed and other high police officials were also present.

However, a crackdown has been launched against criminals and the police have picked up some 45 persons in the province, affiliated with four banned organizations.

He said the provincial government had announced a Rs 2 million reward for giving information about those responsible for the suicide bombing.

To a question about political affiliation of the suspects, he said: “We are collecting information about the three suspects, allegedly involved in the bombing.”

He said the suspects had purchased the car a day before the blast and the police were looking for them.

The police had associated four persons in the investigation but not arrested them and they had led the police to three suspects who are allegedly involved in the blast. “We have obtained the required description and prepared sketches of the suspects”, he added.

He said the previous owner of the car was a businessman and the investigation had established that the previous owner did not have any criminal record, nor he had sold the car with any criminal intention.

He said the police have collected as much evidence from the scene of occurrence as they could.

“We are utilizing technical facility of the US and French investigating teams to further our probe as sufficient facility of DNA examination and other forensic tests is not available with us”, he maintained.

He said the body parts of the suicide bomber were found near the wreckage of the car on which the police were conducting DNA tests.

About the involvement of some foreign hand, Kamal Shah said the possibility of foreign hand could not be ruled out. However, he said: “At this stage, we have not found any links of Al-Qaeda in this incident. Investigations are being conducted and the police are still collecting more evidence from the scene of the blast, he added.

He said the forensic examination was also being conducted to ascertain the exact weight of the bomb, its type and where it was actually planted.

Fourteen people, including 11 French nationals, were killed and 23 others injured, when a “suicide bomber” pulled up next to a Pakistan Navy bus and exploded some device on Wednesday morning in front of Sheraton Hotel.

The explosion was so intense that the car used in the suicide bombing turned into few remains of twisted metal.

The roads, including Fatima Jinnah Road, Shahrah-i-Iran in Clifton, and single track of Abdullah Haroon road where the US Consulate is situated, remained closed for traffic movement on Friday. The Club road, where the bombing took place, also remained closed for vehicular traffic.

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