Lahore: Police in Lahore have arrested seven men for their alleged links to Taliban militants who attacked two mosques in the city on Friday, killing 93 people, including a British businessman.
In the attack, Sunni militants wearing suicide bomb vests, burst into prayer halls at the Garhi Shahu and Model Town mosques, firing guns and threw grenades at the worshippers. They also took hostages and blew themselves up during Friday prayers.
It was the city’s deadliest sectarian attack.
Some attackers who had not detonated their vests were arrested.
The Times quoted Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik as promising to work with local officials to tackle the growing problem of militancy in Punjab province.
“Our action will be stronger now because we cannot tolerate these killings,” he added.
Akram Naeem, a senior police officer in Lahore, said that their interrogation of one of the arrested suspects revealed that the gunmen were involved with the Pakistani Taliban, which has staged attacks across the country for years.
The 17-year-old suspect told police that the men had trained in the North Waziristan tribal region.
The arrests came as family members paid tribute to the British businessman who was killed in the attack.
Muhammad Bilal, 58, of Southfields, southwest London, died during the attack on the Darul Zikr mosque in Lahore.
The married father-of-three was in Lahore on a business trip and was visiting the mosque with colleagues when the attack occurred.
His nephew Sardar Fareed said: “His loss will not only be felt by his direct family members but also by many more.
His family flew to Pakistan this morning for his funeral.
First Published: Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 11:45