Friday, December 4, 2009

Naval Complex bomber came with two accomplices

ISLAMABAD: Investigators said on Thursday that the suicide bomber, who detonated his explosives just meters away from the Naval Complex main gates, was accompanied by two men.

Two navy personnel were killed and 11 other people, mostly security officials, were wounded in the blast on Wednesday.

Navy guards deployed at the entrance spotted the three suspects on the other side of the road and immediately informed the Naval Intelligence.

Within a few minutes, intelligence officials – Amjad Itwar and Hasib Buksh – reached the scene, where Mr Itwar asked the suspects to prove their identity.

However, one of the suspects, who was wearing a black jacket, started moving towards the entrance.

Another navy official asked the advancing suspect to stop and it was then when he blew himself up.

The two accomplices of the suicide bomber managed to escape, taking advantage of the panic that followed the blast.

A case was registered against three ‘unidentified persons’ on criminal and terrorism charges after Pakistan Navy official Mohammad Asif lodged a complaint.

A senior police officer told Dawn that at least six people had been taken into custody from different parts of the capital in connection with the attack.

They included a man believed to be a close aide of the terrorist who carried out the attack.

The officer said investigators also traced and interrogated a taxi driver, who talked to the suicide bomber and later informed the navy guards about his suspicious activity and the language he spoke.

‘The suicide bomber was speaking a language unfamiliar to me,’ police quoted the taxi driver as saying.

The bomber crossed the road and walked towards the Naval Complex, but then stopped and sat along a footpath.

The officer said sketches of the suicide bomber had been prepared, adding that samples taken from his severed limbs had been sent for DNA tests.

Meanwhile, investigators are also trying to trace a suspect, who was caught studying the area around the entrance last month but released on bail, sources said.

The Naval Police (NP) had detained AG, a resident of Sargodha, on November 18 when he was spotted acting suspiciously at Zafar Chowk, the site of the Wednesday bombing.

He was given into the custody of the Naval Intelligence personnel, who recovered a digital camera and an identification card issued by a Western country in his name. The card with identification number 20424 is to expire on November 23, 2010.

The motorcycle he was using also carried fake registration plates, as the number (IDM-5250) was originally issued for a car.

Investigation also revealed that he was on some kind of reconnaissance mission around the naval and air headquarters.

On the complaint of a navy official, Ansar Abbas, the suspect was handed over to the Margalla police for ‘the surveillance and reconnaissance of restricted military area, photographing sensitive installations and using motorcycle with fake registration.’

A case was registered and he was sent to Adiala Jail, but he was released on bail on November 20.


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