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A member of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) surveys the site after the deadly blast in residential area in Lahore on June 23, 2021. Image Credit: REUTERS

Islamabad: Pakistani security forces have arrested all the key culprits and busted the entire network of terrorists involved in the bomb blast in Johar Town, Lahore, that took place last week. The car bomb explosion killed three and injured 22 people, including two policemen.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Punjab Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani in a media briefing said that the police and Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) promptly investigated the case and apprehended 10 terrorists including suspects working as facilitator for international terror network.

“The police and CTD teams apprehended all involved in the planning and execution of the blast within four days,” the chief minister said.

“The CTD Punjab investigated the case in a professional manner and tracked all those involved in the blast within 16 hours of the incident,” Buzdar said.

“They identified all domestic and international elements involved.” CM Buzdar said an ‘enemy’ country’s intelligence agency was directly involved in funding the terrorists’ network in Pakistan

Soon after the attack, the security officials arrested two prime suspects, Peter David Paul and Eid Gul who reportedly parked the explosives-laden car in Johar Town. Paul, originally from Karachi, is reported to be dual national of a Western country. He was off-loaded from a domestic flight to Karachi soon after the blast in Lahore. Names of Eid Gul and his two brothers were already in the suspected list of criminals.

Inspector General Inam Ghani said the CTD Punjab arrested the culprits “within hours” of the incident which is an important breakthrough and achievement for Punjab police department.

IG Punjab Ghani said 10 Pakistanis, both men and women, were arrested in connection with the blast. “The mastermind working for the hostile agencies has also been identified,” he said, adding that Punjab police have managed to identify all the people who were part of the foreign agency involved in the incident. “We have shared information with intelligence agencies” said Ghani. A JIT (joint investigation team) has been constituted under the chief minister’s directives to investigate the case further, he added.

The blast on June 23 occurred near the residence of Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.