MULTAN

As the death toll in Multan blast rose to 11, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) registered an FIR (77/15) against unidentified terrorists under terrorism, murder and explosive material sections here on Monday.

The initial investigation, evidence gathered from the blast site and the post-mortem of the bodies also led the police to reject the suicide blast theory and now the investigators are of the opinion that it could be a remote controlled blast, sources disclosed. The post-mortem report indicated that two of the deceased died of massive burn injuries and seven of splinters in their chests and heads while two of blast and burn injuries as their lower limb region was blown, Nishtar Hospital sources revealed.

Except from one body of a woman, all other dead bodies recovered from the spot were identified. Police had found two bodies of young men and a burnt motorbike from the blast site and the District Coordination Officer (DCO) Zahid Saleem Gondal told the journalists that these could be the bodies of the suspected terrorists.

However, one of the bodies, which was without legs and the police thought it could be the suicide bomber, was identified as Muzammil, resident of Jahanian. Similarly, the other one, who was being seen as facilitator, was identified as Faryad, a resident of Shah Rukan-e-Alam and employee of WAPDA.

The terrorists used six to seven kilogram explosive material in the blast and police suspected that a remote controlled bomb was planted near a soft drink cart at Rickshaw stand on Vehari Chowk, sources added. Sources said the CTD police station registered the case under sections 302, 324, 427, 3/4 Explosive Act and 7ATA and the investigation was underway.

Meanwhile, an injured namely Haq Nawaz succumbed to his injuries in Nishtar Hospital Multan. The other deceased were identified Irfan, Umar, Asif Ali, Akram, Faryad, Ramzan, Muzammil, Ehtisham and Nawaz.

The City Police Officer (CPO) Azhar Akram said that the evidence collected from the spot had been sent for forensic test. "The forensic report will help us investigate into the incident in right direction," he hoped. He said that the perpetrators would soon be traced and the facts would be made public through media.

The Medical Superintendent of Nishtar Hospital Dr Ashiq Malik told The Nation that a total of 71 injured had been brought to the hospital so far. "Though 58 injured are still under treatment, the condition of two of them is critical," he revealed. He said that 12 blast injured had been discharged after treatment.

Meanwhile, two members of provincial cabinet---Punjab minister for Zakat and Ushr Malik Nadeem Kamran and minister for cooperative societies Iqbal Channar---visited Nishtar Hospital and inquired about the health of the injured. They distributed cheques worth Rs75,000 each among the blast injured.

Talking to the journalists on this occasion, Malik Nadeem Kamran said that important evidence were retrieved from the spot and their forensic report would ascertain the nature of the blast. He added that the operation Zarb-e-Azb had broken the backbone of the terrorists and security institutions would soon eliminate all remaining terror networks.

Malik Iqbal Channar said that the residents of Vehari, Chichawatni and other towns also got injured in the blast. He added that the nation was not afraid of terrorists and they would be crushed very soon.

He declared that the heirs of the martyrs of the blast would be given Rs0.5 million each as compensation.