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Quetta police arrests children 'involved in bombings'

March 13, 2013

Police produce young children, suspected of planting bombs, to the media in Quetta on March 13, 2013.—AFP Photo

QUETTA: Police claimed to have busted a terrorist gang comprising of children who were allegedly involved in a series of bomb explosions in Quetta on Wednesday.

Capital City Police Officer, Zubair Mehmood said all accused were children and their ages were between 11 to 18 years.

"Police arrested 11 children after an encounter in suburbs of Quetta last night," Mehmood told a hurriedly called press conference on Wednesday. He said all teenagers belong to extremely poor and down-trodden families.

He added that eight militants belonging to a Baloch separatists group managed to escape during the operation.

"Arrested teenagers have confessed to involvement in more than one dozen bomb explosions," Mehmood said.

He said the teenagers  were paid  between 2000 to 5000 rupees per blast.

The CCPO stated that children were being used by terrorists to carry out terrorist incidents at crowded locations of Quetta city.

He said the children had admitted to their involvement in Mezan Chowk blast, which left more than a dozen people including three frontier corps personnel dead.

Mehmood said police seized anti personnel mines, explosives and other arms and ammunitions from children's possessions.

At least 12 people lost their lives at Bacha Khan Chowk in Quetta on  Jan 10 this year when a bomb went off near a vehicle of the Frontier Corps on the same day that the Alamdar road blast incident took place killing over a hundred people.

The Bacha Khan blast was claimed by the proscribed United Baloch Army as  revenge for Mashkay, Awaran and Bolan operations launched by FC.