Probe team completes initial report on Pakistan blast

Probe team completes initial report on Pakistan seminary blast

Security officials examine the site of a blast at a religious school in Peshawar. Credit: AFP

The investigation team probing the bomb blast at a religious seminary in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar city has completed its initial report and arrested one student in connection with the attack that killed eight persons, officials said on Thursday.

The investigation team that included officials of counter-terrorism department, police and law enforcement agencies, recorded statements of several eyewitnesses and obtained the record of the students of the seminary and the labourers engaged in a construction work there.

One student of the seminary has been arrested over his alleged links to the blast, suspected to have targeted a senior cleric from Afghanistan, officials said.

The blast occurred around 8:30 am on Tuesday at a local mosque, which also serves as a religious school in Dir Colony in interior Peshawar, while students were reading the Quran.

There was no claim of responsibility for the blast in the city, bordering war-torn Afghanistan. Law enforcement agencies on Wednesday detained several people in connection with the bomb blast.

Police said that the attack targeted a class with Sheikh Rahimuddin Haqqani, a senior cleric and the head instructor at the Madrassa. They suspect that Haqqani could be the target of the attack.

Haqqani, an Afghan national from Jalalabad, remained safe in the attack. Haqqani had survived a previous attempt to assassinate him four years ago.

Haqqani said that the local police had informed about the possible attack three days before the blast, but did not provide any security.

He said he was giving lecture when the blast ripped through the Madrassa.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Sanaullah Abbasi had earlier told reporters that about five kilogrammes of explosives were used in the attack and there was no specific alert about this attack.

Police, Elite Force, Rapid Response Force and Bomb Disposal Squad have conducted search operation Dir Colony and adjoining areas and detained several suspects in the door-to-door search.

Students aged 20-30 were killed in the blast. Most of those injured in the attack belonged to Afghanistan.

An FIR has been registered at the Counter Terrorism Department police station in Peshawar against unknown persons in connection with the case.

Tehreek-i-Taliban in Pakistan, which had been behind several attacks in Pakistan in the past, has denied any involvement in the attack and condemned it.

Security sources said that a sophisticated timed device was used in the attack.

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