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Paramilitary soldiers keep guard around the perimeters of the Crime Investigation Department building the morning after it was destroyed by a suicide bomb attack in Karachi, November 12. — Photo by Reuters

KARACHI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) was behind the attack on the Crime Investigation Department (CID) offices in Civil Lines on Thursday night, television reports said.

The blast that killed at least 17 people took place at around 8.20pm in what is supposed to be a most secure area of the city, at a walking distance from the Chief Minister’s House and two five-star hotels located on the Club Road.

Only a day prior to the blast, the CID had disclosed the arrest of seven militants belonging to the banned LJ.

“The men were involved in the murder of several Shia doctors in the city,” SSP Aslam Khan told journalists.

Citing initial interrogation of the suspects, Khan said they were planning to carry out bombings on a procession of the community in the city.

Karachi has seen a number of attacks since a Muharram procession was bombed on Dec 28 last year.

However, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for Thursday's blast.

Speaking to media representatives, Rehman Malik vowed to root out terrorism from the country by taking strict action against the terrorists.

“The militants want to trigger panic and fear among the people,” he said.