Lahore mosque blast suspect held in BalochistanJune 14th, 2009 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS
Lahore, June 14 (IANS) A man suspected to be involved in the bombing of a mosque here in which a prominent cleric who supported the military’s ongoing anti-Taliban operations was killed has been arrested from Balochistan, a media report said.
The suspect, identified as Muhammad Ilyas, was held from the Nasirabad area of Balochistan’s Loralai district, some 100 km east of capital Quetta, Geo TV said.
The cleric, Sarfraz Ahmad Naeemi, was in his office adjacent to a mosque here when a teenage suicide bomber entered the building and blew himself up Friday.
Three others were also killed in the blast, which the Taliban has taken responsibility for.
Naeemi, a moderate cleric, was a staunch critic of the Taliban and played a major role in turning public opinion in Pakistan against extremism and terrorism.
He was a vocal supporter of ongoing military operations against the Taliban in Swat and three neighbouring districts. He repeatedly issued fatwas to declare suicide attacks were against Islamic principles.
The mosque blast, as also another explosion in the city Friday that too claimed four lives, came a day after security forces repulsed a militant raid on the residence of a regional army commander in the northwestern region, killing two attackers and arresting five after a shoot-out.
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Tags: ahmad, army commander, attackers, cleric, extremism, geo tv, ilyas, islamic principles, lahore, loralai district, military operations, mosque, neighbouring districts, northwestern region, quetta, regional army, shoot out, suicide attacks, teenage suicide bomber, vocal supporter