Suspected Pakistani suicide bomber held at Punjab border


Amritsar : A “suicide bomber” from Pakistan was arrested Thursday after troopers of the Border Security Force (BSF) caught him doing a reconnaissance of the area at the Attari international border in this frontier district of Punjab.

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During initial interrogation by security agencies, the youth, identified as Noman Arshad of Singhpura near Lahore in Pakistan, said he had come to the border for a recce, officials said Wednesday.

He said six to seven other trained suicide bombers, including three women, were ready to enter India from the Punjab border to carry out attacks here.

“The Pakistani youth was arrested by the BSF as he was carrying out a recce of the border belt. Further investigations are in progress,” BSF Punjab Frontier Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Jagir Singh told IANS.

Arshad, aged about 19 years and with some education, claimed he had been trained in the use of weapons and explosives at the Okara training camp in Pakistan, the same place where Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, was trained.

“We used to be blindfolded and taken to a training camp by the authorities in Pakistan. I and others have received training in weapons,” Arshad told mediapersons.

BSF sources said the youth had told them a group of ‘fidayeen’ (suicide attackers) were preparing to infiltrate the fenced Indian border in Punjab.

“During initial interrogation, he has told us that there are six to seven more trained suicide bombers waiting to infiltrate into India. Our border guards spotted some movement near the barbed wire fence and nabbed this youth. He says he is trained in handling weapons and explosives,” a BSF official at the border told reporters.

Arshad was apprehended inside Indian territory by troopers of the BSF’s 55th battalion.

Security by the BSF, especially during night along the 553-km barbed wire fenced border with Pakistan in Punjab, has been stepped up following certain incidents in the last one week.

The arrest of the Pakistani youth comes less than a week after rockets were fired into India from across the Punjab border for the third time in recent months, the earlier ones being fired in July and September last year.