Sakhi Sarwar attack: Police claim to have identified perpetrators

Published: April 5, 2011
Death toll from blast hits 50; one of the bombers still in critical condition.

Death toll from blast hits 50; one of the bombers still in critical condition.


As the death toll from the suicide attack on the Sakhi Sarwar shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan hit 50, police claim to have identified the masterminds behind the bombing.

Malik Tassaduq Awan, head of the Dera Ghazi Khan police, said that law enforcement agencies have indentified all of the terrorists involved in the attack, including the bombers’ accomplices, handlers and facilitators. He claimed that they will soon be arrested.

Meanwhile, investigators have begun to piece together the plot that led to the bombing and may have important leads on the masterminds behind the atrocity.

According to investigators, the planning for the attack on the shrine was done in the Bajaur tribal district. At least five people, including the suicide bombers, are suspected of having been involved.

The two attackers, 16-year-old Ismail and 18-year-old Umar, were both from North Waziristan. They received their explosive vests from handlers based in Dera Ismail Khan. They arrived in Dera Ghazi Khan on March 29, staying at the Madina Hotel. Their hotel room was booked under the name of Zara Ali, son of Shah Wali.

Ismail detonated his vest at the gate of the shrine, where many devotees of the 13th century Sufi saint were dancing. This explosion caused most of the damage in Sunday’s attack.

Umar followed about 20 minutes later, but his vest failed to go off properly and he was injured in the smaller blast that followed. He is described as being in critical condition. Investigators have moved him to Multan for treatment and interrogation.

When questioned, Umar told investigators his name was “Fidai,” a term that means one who is willing to sacrifice their life for a cause. It is a term militants often use to describe suicide bombers.

Umar told investigators that he had been told that he would get into paradise if he conducted the attack. When asked how he could get into paradise by attacking fellow Muslims, he said “I don’t know about that but Paradise must be better than this world.”

After the bombing, the police in the area have enhanced security measures around the shrine, said Awan. Four employees of the hotel where the bombers stayed before the attack have been detained for questioning.

In the meantime, law enforcement agencies also claimed to have detained three suspected terrorists from the Chakri Interchange and moved them to an undisclosed place for interrogation.

The suspects are identified as Ustad Fasihullah, Abdullah and Matih Jan. Authorities suspect that they were going to Lahore to conduct an attack in that city over the next few days. (With additional reporting by Tariq Ismail in Dera Ghazi Khan)

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • faraz
    Apr 5, 2011 - 9:18AM

    The lure of 72 virgins is irresistableRecommend

  • Mahmood Hussain
    Apr 5, 2011 - 9:51AM

    JI,JUI,Imran khan crying CIA,MOSSAD,RAW, BLAH…BLAH……… but don’t want to admit these fanatic identity even caught on spot.Recommend

  • Bunny
    Apr 5, 2011 - 10:19AM

    NO muslim can do such brain washing…..wake up army and agencies… have ogt your extensions….come on finish them at every cost before it gets you as well….Recommend

  • Apr 5, 2011 - 10:23AM

    May Allah Keep Pakistan Safe From Agents Of India, US, IsraelRecommend

  • Agha
    Apr 5, 2011 - 10:27AM

    Every one know now that raymond davis like people behind such types of attack. so why did pak government give supply to nato? why not they stop it?Recommend

  • voxpopuli
    Apr 5, 2011 - 10:31AM

    Destined, straight to Hell ! Recommend

  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:43AM

    @Abdullah, @Agha:

    Are the Molvis citing on the mimbers of masjid and declaring the followeres of other sect as Bidaati, Murtid, Kafir and Wajibul-Katal are the agents of CIA, MOSSA and RAW !!?? Recommend

  • narco test based on science or not
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:49AM

    end consparcies theories do narco test truth testRecommend

  • Apr 5, 2011 - 12:33PM

    Govt. of Pakistan knows better behind these attacks our govt are also agents of these attackers.

  • gurriya
    Apr 5, 2011 - 12:48PM

    they drag themselves to hell Recommend

  • ABDV
    Apr 5, 2011 - 2:16PM

    Good now get all the culprits and hang them…if you cant do that, then hand them over to us…we will provide justice, Sialkot-style. These savages deserve no less anyway. Recommend

  • Chilli
    Apr 5, 2011 - 3:28PM

    Who is running Security Show in Pakistan?? Rehman Malik + Zulfiquar Mirza + Rana Sanaullah… All of them are below par and deserve to be Ministers of Waste of Time Affairs. They simply look busy and do nothing. Their tenure saw killings of thousands of Pakistanis. PPP and PML N are total failures.Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Apr 5, 2011 - 5:04PM

    Do people still think these suicide bombers are brainwashed by “muslim” extremists? what type of “muslim” would change the words of Quran deliberately?Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Apr 5, 2011 - 6:19PM

    One is sick to his stomach with such acts for nothing except mayhem…..?? the govt has to except their intel failures & convictions of terrorists who they claim to hv arrested….because of faulty investigations & case handling by the govt persecutors….?? unless thse arrested terrorists are given examplenary punishment….thse acts will continue & poor people will continue to be victims.Recommend

  • Porterhouse
    Apr 6, 2011 - 11:43PM

    The state of denial among some Pakistanis is mind boggling. The police catch the perpetrators, who identify themselves as Muslim, who say the bombers were from FATA, and were trained by Muslims, and claim to be acting in the name of Islam. On top of that, the Pakistani Taliban issue a statement ADMITTING RESPONSIBILITY for the bombing. And yet the brain dead bloggers still claim that foreign agents are responsible. TRULY HOPELESS!!!Recommend

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