Pakistani Police Arrest Main Suspect in Church Massacre

Published November 5th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

 

Pakistani police said Monday they had arrested four people including a key suspect in relation to last month's massacre of 16 Christians by Islamic extremists. 

Ghulam Qadir Mehar, deputy inspector general of police in the central town of Bahawalpur, described the arrest of prime suspect Obaidullah (eds: one name) as a "major breakthrough". 

"We are confident that these are the real culprits," Mehar told AFP. 

He said Obaidullah, a resident of Yazman town near Bahawalpur, had fled a day after the massacre on October 28, in which one policeman and 16 Christians were gunned down by three militants during a church service. 

Obaidullah was tracked down to his sister's house in the southern city of Karachi on Saturday. Three others were arrested by military intelligence agents on Sunday. 

"We are now tracing the plotters and two other accomplices of the culprits in the church attack," Mehar said. 

Police last week said five people had been arrested in relation to the attack, including at least one who was allegedly connected to the militant Harakat ul-Mujahideen Islamic militant group. 

Authorities believe the attack, the worst against the minority Christian community in Pakistan's history, was in revenge to the US-led airstrikes against the Taliban Islamic militia in neighouring Afghanistan -- MULTAN, Pakistan, (AFP)  

 

 

© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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