The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan has claimed that it has killed the perpetrators of the deadly blast in Lahore’s Anarkali Bazar in a firefight. CTD said that the culprits were digging to recover the weaponry and explosives that they had buried when they were cornered. CTD said that the alleged culprits opened fire and two of them were killed in the gun battle while the other two were arrested.
The slain individuals were identified as Sanaullah and Abdul Razaq who, according to CTD, were members of a proscribed organization. The attack in the Anarkali Bazar in January this year had killed 3 and injured 26. The Baloch Nationalist Army had claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Lahore police initially said that the deadly blast had occurred when a gas cylinder burst. In a later statement, police spokesperson Rana Arif acknowledged that the blast was a planned attack. The explosives were laden on a bike that was parked outside a bank in the Bazar. Nearby buildings and parked vehicles were also damaged in the attack.
The CTD now claims that the two of four alleged attackers have been captured and two others have been killed in a firefight.
The CTD claims have once again sparked speculation on whether the alleged attackers were the perpetrators of the Anarkali Bazar blast or “scapegoats” of another “fake encounter.” The Counter-Terrorism Department of Pakistan is notorious for carrying out “fake encounters” in Sindh and Balochistan where they routinely corralled and killed in point-blank range. These “fake encounters” are later framed as confrontations between the CTD and the alleged “terrorists.”