2017-04-18 12:52:00

Pakistan foils Easter terrorist attack

Pakistan’s military, security and intelligence agencies have foiled a possible terrorist attack on Christians in Lahore planned for Easter.   The army said on Monday  they captured a female medical student, identified as Noreen Leghari, who admitted she was part of a planned attack on an unnamed church during Easter.  At a news briefing on Monday, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, the director general of the army's public relations wing showed part of a video in which the woman said she had travelled from her hometown of Hyderabad to Lahore and was working with two other men to carry out the attack.‎

Security remained tight on all churches of Lahore where 72 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a recreational park in Lahore on Easter 2016.  More than 25 police officials aided by 30 youth volunteers remained on guard during five Easter Masses at the Catholic cathedral.

Archbishop Sebastian Shah of Lahore exchanged bouquets with police officials amid applause at the end of the Easter vigil Mass on April 16. Senior Superintendent of Police Ali Raza shared Easter greetings with the congregation at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore.  "Kindly cooperate with security personals on duty, they are for your own protection. Keep a watchful eye on your surroundings even when worshiping. Report any suspicious item or person," he said.   Father Jahanzeb Iqbal, rector of the cathedral said they thanked the police and army for their protection and Christians remained vigilant day and night during the services. 

The female terror suspect was arrested following a joint operation by police, security and intelligence agencies on Friday in Lahore's Factory Area near Punjab Housing Society.  A terrorist was killed in the exchange of fire, while Leghari and two other terror suspects were arrested.  Four four soldiers were injured. Suicide jackets and explosive material were recovered from the suspects.

In the video, Leghari confessed, ‎"they had two (explosives-filled) jackets and four hand grenades, and the jackets were to be used for an attack on some church during Easter, and I was to be the suicide bomber."  ‎"But before that, on the night of April 14, the security forces raided our hideout,"‎ she said.   

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