Pakistan detains 200 over Easter blast

The Pakistani government has detained more than 200 people in the hunt for those behind the Easter Sunday bombing that killed at least 70 people in Lahore.

Pakistan Punjab’s Law Minister, Rana Sanaullah said those held were among more than 5,000 questioned in a sweeping counter-terror offensive.

Weapons and ammunition have also been seized in raids by security forces.

Taliban splinter group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar said it carried out the attack against Christians celebrating Easter.

The area around Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park was more crowded than usual, as members of Lahore’s minority Christian had gathered to celebrate Easter at a funfair there.

At least 29 of the victims were children. Another 300 people were injured, with officials saying they expected the death toll to rise.

“There are no militant safe-haven or no-go areas in Punjab,” Sanaullah said.

Security forces
He said 56 intelligence operations had been jointly carried out by police, paramilitary, army and intelligence forces.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif has vowed to bring the attackers to justice.

Reports say the military is preparing to launch a new crackdown in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous and wealthiest province and the heartland of Mr. Sharif’s support.

The Jamaat-ul-Ahrar mocked Mr. Sharif, saying that war had “reached his doorstep.”

 

BBC/Sammie