With bloody attacks triggering global concerns over the precarious internal security situation, Pakistan on Friday is interrogating suspects amid stepped up security to prevent further violence a day after a string of deadly bombings killed some 40 people in the country.
Underscoring the power of radicals in the country, militants on Thursday struck security buildings in Lahore – the heart of Pakistan’s politically prominent Punjab province.
Launching coordinated attacks at least 10 armed men made their way into the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) branch in Lahore, a police academy in the suburb of Manawan and an elite commando school on the outskirts within minutes of each other.
The assaults were widely translated into a grave exemplification of the power of radicals to strike at the heart of nuclear-armed Pakistan, say reports in the international media on Friday.
The action was an ostensible effort to deter the military from launching an anticipated ground offensive in South Waziristan near the Afghan border, they added.
Inundated by repeated strikes in the country and resulting aspersions over their expertise to counter insurgent attacks, Pakistani security agencies are reported to have picked up dozens of people in overnight raids.
“There has been considerable progress in the ongoing investigation. We have arrested dozens of suspects during overnight raids in Lahore,” Haider Ashraf, senior police official at the Manawan police academy was quoted as saying by the French news agency AFP.
He added that the suspects were being interrogated and that officials were trying to identify the terrorists killed yesterday.
Though no group has claimed responsibility for the strikes, suspicions are fast zeroing-in on the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jaish-e-Muhammad.
Punjab provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah blamed militants in South Waziristan in Pakistan’s tribal belt, a known hideout of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda since US-led troops invaded Afghanistan in 2001.
“These attacks have links with militants in South Waziristan. Investigations are focusing on when these people came to Lahore, where they stayed and who their contacts were in the city,” Sanaullah was quoted as saying.