Pakistan’s counterterrorism police arrest more suspects in deadly car bomb attack

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Pakistan’s counterterrorism police made more arrests Saturday in connection with a car bombing earlier in the week that killed three people and wounded 25. The attack in Lahore was near the residence of a convicted militant leader linked to the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Investigating officer Ahmed Wakeel said police arrested a man from the Mandi Bahauddin district of Punjab province who sold the car used in the Wednesday blast.

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The explosion took place outside the residence of anti-India militant leader Hafiz Saeed, who is designated a terrorist by the US Justice Department and has a $10 million bounty on his head. Saeed was unharmed in the powerful explosion in Lahore’s Johar Town neighborhood.

Site after an explosion outside of Johar Town in Lahore, Pakistan on June 23, 2021. (Twitter)
Site after an explosion outside of Johar Town in Lahore, Pakistan on June 23, 2021. (Twitter)

Wakeel said two other men were picked up in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province who were allegedly involved in rigging the explosives in the car. Police now have five suspects in custody in connection with the blast.

On Friday, security forces arrested Pakistani national David Peter at the Lahore airport as he tried to fly out of the country. His arrest led to the arrest of another man from the eastern city.

Wakeel also said investigators found evidence of involvement of the Indian secret service in the attack. He didn’t elaborate.

Saeed is the founder of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

Last year, Pakistan sentenced Saeed to 15 years in prison in a terror-financing case, but he was never charged in connection with the Mumbai attacks. He has been serving his term at home under a government order.

Saeed’s Lashkar-e-Taiba was active for years, mainly in Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India but claimed by both in its entirety.

Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations and they have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence in 1947.

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