Lahore terror attacks: Pak arrests 36 suspects

Lahore terror attacks: Pak arrests 36 suspects

Rescue workers assist a hostage who was released during a crackdown operation against terrorists at a police training school in Lahore on Thursday. AP

Twenty suspects were picked from Gulshan-e-Daud Colony in Manawan, where terrorists attacked a police training centre yesterday, officials said. 
Eleven suspects were detained from localities on Bedian Road where terrorists targeted another police training centre, four from Temple Road where a gunman was killed while attacking a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) office, and one more from the cantonment, they said.     

A senior police officer said Qari Ishaq, an accomplice of the attackers, was among those arrested.

"A fake police identity card and weapons have been recovered from Ishaq, who was living in rented accommodation in the cantonment. He made calls from his cell phone to some persons in Waziristan," the official said.

Rana Sanaullah, Law Minister of Punjab province, told reporters: "We have taken a number of suspects into custody but we cannot give details until their interrogation is completed."

He made it clear that the provincial government had no intention of launching an operation in southern Punjab as there were no militant training camps in that region.

There has been a demand from authorities in North West Frontier Province and public pressure for launching an operation in parts of Punjab where sympathisers of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan are believed to be holed up.     

A total of 10 terrorists were either gunned down by security forces or blew themselves up during the three attacks. A dozen policemen were among 18 others who lost their lives.     

A large number of women in Manawan protested against the arrest of about 20 suspects from Gulshan-e-Daud Colony, located behind the police training school that was attacked for the second time this year. The protesters shouted slogans against the police and claimed they had been arresting "innocent" people in the name of an anti-terrorism drive.

"Why don't police arrest the real culprits? Just to make points before their superiors, the policemen have picked up poor people of the locality," said Samina Ahmed, a resident of Gulshan-e-Daud Colony.     

But a police officer said: "We have information that terrorists involved in the attack on the Manawan training centre had rented a house in that area."     

Two private schools near the FIA office remained closed on Friday and the road leading to the building too was blocked. The Special Investigation Group of FIA is collecting forensic evidence from the sites of the attacks, officials said.