Punjab Police arresting
Punjab Police arresting

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Thursday said that Punjab police were close to arresting the culprits responsible for yesterday’s blast in Lahore’s Johar Town that claimed the lives of three citizens.

The minister tweeted that officials had achieved “great success” during the investigation process. “Punjab police will soon arrest the suspects and give good news to the people,” he said.

In a video shared alongside the tweet, the interior minister said that Pakistan’s enemies could not tolerate the economic and political stability in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and had started adopting “terrorist routes”.

“We have completed 86 per cent of fencing work on the Afghanistan border and 46pc of the work on the border with Iran,” he said, adding that fencing of the Afghan border would be completed within the next one-and-a-half month.

Fencing of the Iran border will be completed this year, he said.

Johar Town blast

A day earlier, a powerful blast near the residence of proscribed Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed killed three people and injured 24 others, including a police constable.

Six-year-old Abdul Haq, his father Abdul Malik, 50, and a young passerby died in the explosion that left a four-foot-deep and eight-foot-wide crater on the road and damaged several houses and shops nearby.

Citing initial investigations, a senior police official told Dawn on condition of anonymity that about 15 kilogrammes of explosives had been planted in a car that was stolen from Gujranwala and parked near the residence of Hafiz Saeed in Board of Revenue Housing Society, Johar Town. His residence remained safe, but many other houses and shops falling in 100 square feet radius of the blast site were damaged.

Eyewitnesses said the blast was so powerful that the residents in the street rushed for shelter, while those indoors locked themselves up fearing an armed terrorist attack.

Javed, who runs a business in a market near the blast site, said he was dealing with some clients when he heard a deafening explosion. A few seconds later, he said, he saw some people injured and the boundary walls of nearby houses covered with dust and blood stains.

“I saw a car completely destroyed and a rickshaw up in flames, besides a deep crater on the road,” he added.

An employee of a motorcycle workshop nearby, who was also among the injured, said he was using his mobile phone when he heard the blast. As he came out of his workplace, he saw several injured people lying on the road.

“I also saw a minor boy in critical condition, three women and a young man unconscious on the road near the blast site,” he said, adding that he also saw a man fighting for his life with both legs critically wounded.

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