Lahore mosque blast suspect held in Balochistan | world | Hindustan Times
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Lahore mosque blast suspect held in Balochistan

A man suspected to be involved in the bombing of a mosque in Lahore 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.

world Updated: Jun 14, 2009 18:38 IST

A man suspected to be involved in the bombing of a mosque in Lahore 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 on 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 on 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.