Four Taliban facilitators arrested for Lahore suicide bombing

File photo. Photograph:( Others )

PTI Lahore, Pakistan Mar 17, 2018, 01.05 PM (IST)

Police in Pakistan today arrested four suspected militants who allegedly facilitated a suicide attack on a police check-post near the residence of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore.

The death toll in the attack by a teenaged Taliban suicide bomber on March 14 today rose to 11 as another victim succumbed to injuries in a hospital.

"We have taken four suspects believed to be facilitators in a raid carried out in the Badami Bagh area of central Lahore. The suspects include the bomber's uncle, Syed Ghazi Shah, and his son," a police official said.

The teenaged suicide bomber blew himself up at a police post check post, a few kilometres from the palatial residence of the Sharif family, and next to the congregation of the Tableeghi Jamaat centre.

Police said the suicide attacker carried two hand grenades which he wanted to use before blowing himself up, but police managed to deter him from doing so.

"The post-blast investigation and the statements of the injured policemen revealed that there was a fierce scuffle between the policemen and the suicide bomber. If the attacker had thrown the hand grenades in the gathering of the cops or in the main venue of a religious congregation, it would have been more devastating," a senior police official said.

Shortly after the suicide bomber blew himself up, the police experts had seized the hand grenades, defused them and sent them for forensic analysis.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has constituted a joint investigation team to probe the blast.

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the blast. The suicide attack has taken place a week before the play-off (semi-finals) of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the blast could be aimed at stopping the foreign players from coming to Lahore for PSL semi-finals.