Pakistani Police Detain Dozens After Suicide Bombings

Posted September 8th, 2011 at 9:16 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Police say they have detained some 170 suspects in connection with Wednesday's suicide bombings that killed 28 people in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta.

Senior police official Hamid Shakil told VOA on Thursday that many of those being questioned are Afghan refugees.

Two suicide bombers attacked the home of Farrukh Shehzad, the deputy head of Baluchistan province's paramilitary Frontier Corps, on Wednesday. Police say one of the assailants was carrying an identity card indicating he was from Afghanistan's Kunduz province.

The Pakistani Taliban said it carried out the attack in retaliation for the recent arrest of an al-Qaida leader.

Shehzad was wounded and his wife was killed in the attack. Several of his security guards and at least two children were also among the dead. More than 80 other people were wounded in the two blasts.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told news agencies the militant group carried out the attack “in revenge for the arrests of our brothers in Quetta.”

On Monday, Pakistan's military announced that the Frontier Corps had helped arrest senior al-Qaida leader Younis al-Mauritani and two other al-Qaida operatives in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

Mauritani was believed to have been tasked by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden with targeting economic interests in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Pakistan's military did not say when the arrests were made but said the operation was “planned and conducted with technical assistance of U.S. intelligence agencies.”

The White House on Monday praised the operation as an example of the longstanding partnership between the U.S. and Pakistan in fighting terrorism.

The United States strongly condemned Wednesday's suicide bombings, calling them “horrific.”