- Officials say explosion occurred following collision between rickshaw and motorcycle suspected of carrying explosives
- Six men arrested in Islamabad with 190 kg explosives turn out to be Afghan spies who were planning terror activities in country
- Per sources, militants confessed being experts in making IEDs, suicide vests, training local terrorists
- NDS militants say more than 14 Afghans living with them for long time without legal documentation
At least 11 people died while 79 others were injured, per Rescue 1122 officials, when an explosion occurred near a packed rickshaw stand on Multan’s Vehari Road Sunday evening.
According to Multan DCO Zahid Saleem Gondal and CPO Azhar Akraam, the explosion occurred due to a collision between a rickshaw and a motorcycle.
“It seems that the bomb was fitted in the motorcycle,” said Akram, adding that police has also recovered ball bearings from the site of the blast. The DCO, however, added that forensic expert would inform further after the investigation.
The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) was called to the site of explosion to find out the actual reason of the blast. Earlier it was reported that the explosion happened due to a blast in gas cylinder fitted in the rickshaw that was destroyed.
However, police officials had said that the explosion might not be of a gas cylinder blast and they were probing the actual cause of explosion.
According to a BDS official, the blast occurred when explosives being moved for a terrorist activity exploded.
Earlier, Rescue 1122 spokesperson Abdul Jabbar said the blast left six persons dead. Around seven to eight rickshaws were also damaged due to the explosion.
The area people shifted the dead and injured people to nearby hospitals, including NishtarHospital, where few are said to be in critical condition. Sound of explosion was heard in far off areas.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed deep grief and sorrow over the Multan blast and emphasised upon rescue agencies to speed up the relief efforts. He directed the concerned authorities to provide special medical care to the injured.
Moreover, Multan DCO, on behalf of Punjab chief minister has announced Rs 0.5 million to the heirs of each of the deceased person as compensation.
AFGHAN SPIES ARRESTED:
In the meanwhile in Islamabad, sources from security agencies said that according to initial investigation, the apprehended six militants during the raid on Saturday by police and law enforcement agencies in Tarnol were the agents of Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) and were planning to attack multiple targets throughout the country.
During the search operation in Tarnol, the law enforcement agencies on Saturday confiscated 190kg of explosive from the militants. Moreover, 190 kg of explosives and a huge cache of weapons, including thousands of bullets, dozens of pistols, 9mm guns, 12-bore rifles, pump actions, suicide jackets, detonators and cables were seized from their possession. Security agencies also arrested 69 suspected including six militants.
According to sources from security agencies that in initial investigation the arrested agents of Afghan NDS confessed that they were “facilitators and abettors of terrorist activities in Pakistan”.
As per their confession, they were also experts in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide jackets and were also training the local terrorists, the security sources said.
Furthermore, the arrested men also confessed during the investigation that the seized 190 kg explosive were being used to target high ends. In further investigation, it was also revealed that more than 14 Afghan nationals were also living with them for a long time without any identity card or legal documentation, sources added.
Sources also confirmed that the arrested terrorists were also involved in the killing of Nasiruddin Haqqani in Bara Kahu locality of Islamabad. Haqqani was killed in November 2013. He was a senior militant leader and brother of Haqqani network chief Sirajuddin Haqqani. The sources told that further investigation is underway.