Pro-Taliban group claims responsibility for Lahore blastDecember 26th, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Dec 26 (IANS) A hitherto unknown pro-Taliban group called Ansar Wa Mohajir has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s bomb explosion in Lahore, for which an alleged Indian “spy” was earlier arrested and search launched for three others, media reports said.A man who identified himself as Toofan Wazir, a commander and spokesman of the group, telephoned The News daily from somewhere in North Waziristan to claim responsibility for the blast in Lahore and earlier rocket attacks on Dera Ismail Khan.
He also threatened more attacks against the security forces and government installations to avenge the two recent US missile strikes in North Waziristan in which several militants belonging to the Punjab were killed.
“According to Toofan Wazir, the US drones fired the missiles at Pakistani targets with the agreement and cooperation of the government of Pakistan. He said revenge would be taken from both the Americans and the Pakistan government. In Pakistan, he warned, suicide bombings would be carried out and bombs would be planted and exploded at important government installations,” The News reported Friday.
On Thursday, the Pakistani interior minister said an Indian “spy” had been arrested in Lahore and had confessed to planting a bomb that went off in the city Wednesday, claiming the life of a woman.
The ministry also said the arrested man had disclosed the name of three other Indian “spies” and that efforts were on to arrest them.
Wazir claimed his men were “Ansar” who hosted the “Mohajir” or refugees who had come from different countries and also from places in Pakistan to find refuge in Waziristan. He said the group was committed to protect the foreigners who were the guests of local tribesmen.
However, there was a discrepancy in Wazir’s account and the situation on the ground in Lahore. He claimed it was a suicide bombing, targeting a government installation. But police in Lahore said the explosion took place in a mini-truck carrying explosives.
The News report said that “it appears obvious that he (Wazir) and his men are pro-Taliban and part of the Pakistani Taliban, but added that “it isn’t possible to find out if Toofan Wazir’s group, Ansar Wa Muhajir, was indeed involved in the bomb blast in Lahore”.