Clues found to Pindi suicide attack, claims ministry -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Clues found to Pindi suicide attack, claims ministry

ISLAMABAD, Feb 26: A number of people suspected to have links with Monday’s suicide blast in Rawalpindi that killed the army’s surgeon-general and seven other people, have been arrested, according to interior ministry spokesman Brig (retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema.

“Investigators have found important leads to the Rawalpindi blast and the arrested men are being interrogated. But at this stage we cannot make them public,” he said here on Tuesday.

Answering a question, he said that involvement of a foreign hand in the blast could not be ruled out.

He said that a high-level investigation team headed by CPO Rawalpindi Saud Aziz had been constituted to probe the incident.

He also said that 440 suspected terrorists and 60 suicide bombers had been arrested over the past three months and a large quantity of arms and ammunition had been seized.

Mr Cheema said that 17 suspects had been arrested in Punjab, 26 in Sindh, 13 in the NWFP and 122 in Balochistan. Similarly, 124 alleged militants were arrested in Swat while 140 surrendered to security forces.

He said that 45kgs of explosive, eight detonators with leads, five remote controls with chargers and 10 hand-grenades had been seized in Punjab. Forty-three kilograms of explosive, 44 detonators, two rocket-launchers and 53 hand-grenades were seized in Sindh.

In the NWFP, 50,096kgs of explosive, 26 hand-grenades, 10 explosive jackets, 16 dynamites, 14 detonators, four rocket-launchers, 11 missiles, 32 mortar shells and 24 safety fuses were recovered.

The spokesman said that from Feb 1 to date, 770kgs of explosive had been seized and two explosives-laden vehicles impounded in Swat. He said that 18 explosive devices, 96 detonators, 75kgs of explosive, 112 hand-grenades, 246 mortar shells, 56 mines, 19 rocket launchers and four AA guns had also been seized from militants.

Referring to Monday’s terrorist attack on an NGO office in Mansehra, the spokesman said it demonstrated the brutal nature of the criminal gangs which did not spare even those engaged in helping women and children.

Mr Cheema said the federal and provincial governments had taken extra security measures for the safety of political leaders and the people to ensure a smooth transition of power to the elected governments.
Source: Dawn
Date:2/27/2008