Thursday Jun 24 2021

Johar Town blast: Suspect arrested from Lahore airport by intelligence agencies

Photo: File.
  • Lahore police say a suspect has been arrested in connection to the Johar Town blast.
  • The man was arrested from the airport while he was on his way to Karachi.
  • The vehicle used in the blast has also been identified.

LAHORE: Intelligence agencies have arrested a man from the Lahore airport on the suspicion of his involvement in Wednesday's Johar Town blast, police said Thursday.

Per the police, the man was asked to get off a Karachi-bound flight a few minutes before departure, adding that he has been taken to an undisclosed location for further investigation. 

Meanwhile, the vehicle which had been used in the bomb blast has also been identified, sources revealed. The vehicle carrying explosives possibly entered Lahore via the motorway.  

Per security forces, when the vehicle was searched at the time of entering the city, there were no explosives found at that time, sources said. 

An investigation regarding when the explosives were loaded onto the vehicle is underway, sources said, adding that the vehicle used in the blast had been stolen in 2010. 

A first information report (FIR) regarding the snatched vehicle was registered at a police station in Gujranwala.

Three dead, 24 injured in Lahore's Johar Town blast

At least three people were killed, while 24 others had sustained injuries when an explosion took place in the city's Johar Town area, with the provincial police chief believing police were the target.

Witnesses said the windows of nearby houses and buildings were shattered in the explosion. In addition, one of the buildings was severely damaged due to the intensity of the blast. Several cars parked close to the buildings were also damaged. 

The injured were shifted to Lahore's Jinnah Hospital via private cars and auto-rickshaws for treatment. Three persons succumbed to their injuries during the treatment, the medical superintendent of the hospital said.

Such was the intensity of the blast that its sound was heard even in faraway areas. However, the nature of the blast has not been ascertained yet.

Preliminary report

A preliminary report of a probe by investigative agencies has been submitted to Inspector General Punjab Inam Ghani, sources told Geo News.

More than 30kg of explosives were used in the blast, according to the initial report, which adds that "foreign-made materials" were used.

Ball bearings, nails, and other explosives were among the objects used in the bomb.

The initial report states that the material had been planted onto a car and the device was detonated remotely. A three-foot deep and eight-foot-wide crater has formed at the site of the blast, the report said.

The blast caused damage within a ​​100-square-foot radius.

Security high-alert across Lahore

Following the bomb attack in Johar Town, the Lahore police chief issued directives to heighten security across the city.

Snap-checking in Johar Town and nearby areas have been ramped up, a statement from the CCPO office said.

Special instructions have been given to check suspicious individuals and unclaimed items.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has taken notice of the incident and has sought a report from the chief secretary and IG Punjab.

"The federal agencies are assisting the Punjab government in the investigation," the minister added.