Pakistani authorities today conducted raids across different cities of Pakistan's Punjab province and took into custody several suspects in connection with the explosion outside the house of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and head of banned terror outfit Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Hafiz Saeed in Lahore.
At least three people were killed and 21 injured in the blast that took place at a police picket outside terrorist Hafiz Saeed's house at the BOR Society in Lahore's Johar Town at around 11 am on Wednesday. Some police officers guarding the terrorist's house suffered serious injuries. The windows and walls of Hafiz Saeed's house were damaged from the impact of the blast.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.
According to a report on Pakistan's Geo TV, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan's Punjab Police today conducted raids across different cities in connection with the blast.
According to news agency Press Trust of India, the local report quoted sources saying that the Counter-Terrorism Department has taken into custody several suspicious persons.
Pakistan's Counter-Terrorism Department and intelligence agencies have collected the evidence from the crime scene, the sources told the local news channel, adding that ball bearings, pieces of iron and the vehicle's parts have been preserved.
Investigative agencies have also started geo-fencing the area to help with the blast probe, the report said.
In geo-fencing, a virtual geographic boundary around an area is created by means of Global Positioning System (GPS) or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves the area.
Hafiz Saeed has been serving a jail sentence at the high-security Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore for his conviction in terror financing cases. The blast sparked rumours in Pakistan that Hafiz Saeed may have been present in the house.
Condemning the attack on the terrorist, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari warned that Pakistan could see an increase in such attacks due to the flawed Afghan policy of the current government led by Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Addressing the media at the Parliament House in Islamabad on Wednesday, Bilawal Bhutto said such incidents could increase as Pakistan's policy in Afghan peace process is not correct and added that some terrorist organisations are also active across the border, Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper reported.
"I had demanded on the floor of the (National) Assembly that whatever the Pakistani government is doing covertly and through the backdoor should be brought before the representatives of the people. The government should tell us what its policy is," he said, referring to Pakistan's role in the deal between Afghan Taliban and the United States.
Hafiz Saeed, a UN designated terrorist whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, has been convicted for 36 years imprisonment in five terror financing cases. His punishment is running concurrently.
Hafiz Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Hafiz Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. He was listed under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is instrumental in pushing Pakistan to take measures against terrorists roaming freely in Pakistan and using territory in its control to carry out attacks in India.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)