Wagah attack: More explosives defused; ‘suspicion’ man at blast site?
NEW DELHI : In the latest report coming from the blast site, intelligence authorities in Pakistan managed to defuse more bombs near Wagah border crossing after conducting a search operation in the area on Monday.According to a report in the Dawn, the intelligence agencies were informed about a “suspicion person” still present in the attack area after which they carried out a search operation, leading to recovery of many more suicide vests and explosives that were defused by the bomb squad men.
The possibility of more suspicion persons being present at the attack site was enhanced by a preliminary investigation report submitted to the Inspector General Police Punjab, Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera, that suggested that the suicide-bomber, believed to be in his early 20s, had been staying in the Wagah border area since many days.
An investigation has begun in the attack and the remains of the suicide bomber have been collected and sent forensic analysis.Meanwhile the death toll from the blast rose to 61 on Monday and officials arrested some 20 suspects from the Wagah border area, reports said.
In the aftermath of a deadly suicide attack that killed dozens, the spectacular flag-lowering ceremony that takes place at Wagah border crossing between India and Pakistan every evening, has been postponed for three days until Thursday, officials said.
In the flag-lowering ceremony both Indian and Pakistani soldiers participate, parading close to each other and present a grand military spectacle which attracts scores of spectators every evening before sunset.Also known as the “beating retreat” ceremony, it has been taking place for last 55 years with members of Pakistan’s Rangers and India’s Border Security Force marching in goose step and lowering their countries’ flags.
The suspension of the ceremony for three days comes after dozens were killed and more than hundred were injured when a suicide bomber detonated himself at a checkpoint near Wagah border crossing just after the spectators were returning back after watching the ceremony, reports quoted Inspector General Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera of the Punjab police.
Sukhera said that it was difficult to check the suicide bomber despite high security arrangements in place for Muharram.”The Rangers had made stringent security measures but it was difficult to check suicide bomber,” the PTI quoted Sukhera as saying. “It appears that he (the bomber) is a young man of 20-25 years. At least 15 to 20 kilogramme explosives have been used in the blast, showing some of the explosives was in his suicide jacket and remaining he might have carried.”
Remarkably, the responsibility for the attack has been claimed by not one but three terror groups – all either linked to or breakaway groups of Pakistan Taliban.Ehsanullah Ehsan, the spokesperson of Pak Taliban breakaway group Jamat-ul-Ahrar, rubbished the claims of anti-Shia group Jundullah, mocking it as a hypothetical Iranian Mujahideen group.
He said that TTPJA (Jamat-ul-Ahrar) was behind the attacks which were carried in retaliation to killings by Pakistani Army in North Waziristan.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, former TTP spokesperson represents Jamat-ul-Ahrar, which broke away from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in August this year.”We will soon release the video of this attack.. This attack is the revenge of the killing of those innocent people who have been killed by Pakistan Army, particularly of those who have been killed in North Waziristan,” he said in a statement.
In a series of tweets, Ehsan claimed that his group Jamat-ul-Ahrar (meaning Group of the Free ones) had carried out the attack to send a bold “open message to governments on both sides of the border”.”Some other group claim the responsibility of this attack….But this attack was done by our friend Hafiz Hanifullah,” Ehsan wrote on Twitter.