LAHORE: Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada on Tuesday claimed that the police had arrested five suspects for their alleged involvement in the twin Taliban suicide attacks that targeted two churches in Lahore in March.
“Police have arrested five suspects who were involved in Youhanabad attacks, a bomb attack in Model Town area and another attack in Qila Gujjar Singh area of Lahore,” said Khanzada told reporters.
“They belonged to the splinter group of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Shehryar Mehsud group and had been coordinating attacks inside Pakistan from Afghanistan,” said the home minister.
“They planned these attacks in Afghanistan and then came to Lahore. They were provided suicide vests and other materials here in the city for the attack.”
Khanzada further claimed that the suspects had financial and material support from India.
“They have also confessed to planning some more attacks in Lahore and Karachi in future,” he added.
Seventeen people were killed in the twin suicide bombings in Youhanabad district of Lahore, with more than 70 wounded.
The bombings took place just as prayers were being held at the two churches, located around half a kilometre apart. The neighbourhood is home to more than 100,000 Christians, officials said.
Two Muslim men were later lynched by an angry mob who suspected they were militants.
The attack also sparked two days of rioting by thousands of Christians who clashed with police, blocked roads and forced a partial shutdown of the city’s public bus system.