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Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province Shahbaz Sharif on Friday claimed that the suspects involved in planning and carrying out the February 13 suicide bombing on a protest at Lahore’s Charing Cross belonged to Afghanistan.

Sharif announced the arrest of an alleged facilitator of the attacker, who he said belonged to FATA’s Bajaur Agency, which neighbours Afghanistan. The suspect’s confessional statement was aired during the media briefing.

The blast claimed 16 lives, including top police officials. It also left over 80 people injured.

The suspect introduced himself as Anwar-ul-Haq, and said he hailed from a remote village in Bajaur Agency.

“I was associated with Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and they trained me,” said the suspect, adding that he visited Afghanistan around 15 to 20 times.

Sharif voiced strong support for reviving military courts, saying that a lot of credit for curbing terrorism successfully in Pakistan went to them.

“The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government fully supports extending the tenure of military courts,” he said, adding that it was “because of the fear of punishment that terror factions were hesitant before attacking”.

First Published | February 17, 2017 , 11:12 pm
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