US experts to assist Pak in Lahore blasts probe

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{image-pak-US+flafg_14032008.jpg}Islamabad, Mar 14: A team of forensic and technical experts from the United States will arrive here to assist local officials investigating the twin blasts which rocked Lahore city on Tuesday, killing at least 32 people and injuring scores of others.Top FIA and police officials sought, through the interior ministry, the US help after concluding that C-4, a highly-destructive explosive material, had been used in the March 11 blasts at the FIA building and an advertising agency office in Model Town.

''A team of forensic and technical experts from the US is arriving here shortly to assist local investigators, especially in tracing the origin of C-4,'' Dawn newspaper quoted a senior FIA official as saying. Two teams of Lahore police, headed by DIG (Investigation) Tussadaq Husain, are probing the blasts while FIA's Special Investigation Group (SIG) is assisting them in collecting evidence from the crime scene and examining the kind of explosives used.

Capital City Police Officer Malik Iqbal also confirmed that the finest quality of explosives (C-4) had been used in the explosions. He said this form of explosives had never been used in Pakistan. ''To my knowledge it is not locally prepared. A thorough probe is required to know how the terrorists acquired it,'' he said.

The CCPO maintained that the chassis number of the mini-truck used in the FIA building blast was found from an eight-foot deep crater. ''Only this type of the explosive could cause such a deep crater,'' he said. C-4, in combination with other explosives, could cause large-scale devastation. It is believed that between 60 and 70 kgs of explosive material, had been used to destroy the FIA building and 30 and 40 kgs in the Model Town blast.

Mr Iqbal further said the chassis number recovered from the FIA site was originally of a car and the motor registration record showed it had been obtained under the Yellow Taxi Cab scheme.


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