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Pak investigators question suspects

The driver of the vehicle in which the bomber arrived at the airport and another person believed to be with him have been taken into custody.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2007 13:27 IST
KJM Varma (PTI)
KJM Varma (PTI)

Pakistani investigators on Wednesday interrogated two suspected accomplices of the suicide bomber who tried to force his way into the Islamabad international airport on Tuesday night.

The driver of the vehicle in which the bomber arrived at the airport and another person believed to be with him have been taken into custody and are being interrogated, security officials said.

Five security personnel were injured when the suicide bomber fired his way towards the VIP lounge of the airport before being blown up in a grenade explosion.

Soon after the attack security was stepped up in all five star hotels and airports in the country.

Police are trying to identify the attacker whose body has been found intact. Officials would conduct a DNA test on him to ascertain his identity.

Police officials said the well armed bomber, who approached the entrance of the VIP Lounge of the airport, tried to force his way firing at the security personnel. The bomber tried to hurl a grenade which exploded right at his feet killing him on the spot.

Police officer Sayed Marawat Shah told the media at the airport that the bomber had arrived in a rented car and tried to enter the lounge shooting at the policemen. But he was killed in a grenade explosion that followed a shootout with the security personnel.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said the bomber was carrying three grenades, one of which exploded when he tried to throw it. The remaining two grenades were recovered, he said.

Besides the grenades, the bomber was carrying a pistol, Sherpao said adding the attack was appeared to have aimed at creating panic.

Police officials said no damage was done to the airport but it was closed for the time being for flights to take off.

Airport officials, however, said no flights were due at this time of the night.

The attack was sixth of its kind since January 26, when a suicide bomber blew up at the emergency exit of the JW Marriot hotel hours before Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Satyabrata Pal held a Republic Day reception.

The bomber and a police guard was killed in the attack.

It was followed by suicide attacks in Peshawar in which city police chief was killed. Later another suicide bomber blew up in Dera Islami Khan in NWFP followed by another suicide attack at an army convoy near the same town in which two army personnel and the bomber were killed.

Security officials attributed the spate of attacks as the retaliatory actions by pro-Taliban militants opposing the crackdown in Afghanistan and Waziristan areas.

First Published: Feb 07, 2007 12:50 IST