Relatives gather around the bodies of blast victims after a suicide bomb attack near the Wagah border on November 2. (Agence France-Presse)
Pakistan police today claimed to have killed the alleged mastermind of Wagah suicide bombing - that claimed 61 lives last year - in an encounter in Lahore, a media report said today.
Roohullah alias Asadullah, believed to be the chief of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Lahore was killed along with two accomplices in the provincial capital's Burki Road area, the Dawn quoted sources in law enforcement and intelligence agencies as saying.
Intelligence agencies had been hunting for Asadullah since the November 2 attack last year that killed at least 61 people and injured nearly 200 others when a suicide attacker detonated a powerful bomb at Wagah, minutes after the popular flag-lowering ceremony at the main Indo-Pak land border crossing.
Law enforcement officials told Dawn that a joint raid was carried out at a house located on Burki Road on outskirts of the city acting on a tip-off.
The police party came under gunfire after entering the neighbourhood as Asadullah and his two accomplices opened fire and police fired back in retaliation. The exchange lasted for at least half an hour, the report said.
Several blasts were also heard during the exchange of fire. After the firing subsided, policemen entered the premises and recovered bodies of the three alleged militants.
Police claimed that all the three hailed from Bajaur tribal region and belonged to TTP's Mullah Fazlullah group and shifted the bodies to a morgue.
A huge quantity of arms, explosives, suicide vests, detonators, militant literature and other equipment was recovered during a search of the house, it said.