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ISLAMABAD:
Interior minister Sheikh Rashid on Thursday said that Punjab police had made significant headway in the Johar Town blast investigation and was close to identifying the suspects involved in the attack.

"Punjab police will soon give good news to the people and is close to arresting the culprits," Rashid said in a video statement.

"Those who want to spread unrest [in Pakistan] and want to bring the country under pressure will fail," he remarked.

Pakistan, Rashid asserted, will never come under any sort of pressure.

"During the tenure of Prime Minister Imran Khan, political and economic stability has been brought to the country," the minister said and added, "Pakistan's enemies don't like this at all."

He further stated that the enemy had resorted to terrorism, but they would be defeated.

"Pakistan's people will continue the journey of peace, stability and progress in the country alongside the military," he said.

The interior minister further said that 86 per cent fencing on the Afghan border and 46 per cent fencing on the Iranian border had been completed.

A day ago, on Wednesday, three people died and 21 others, including women and children, sustained injuries when an explosives-laden vehicle exploded near the house of Hafiz Saeed, leader of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), in Lahore’s Johar Town neighbourhood.

Top police officials were uncertain about the nature of the blast, while medics said that the injured were hit by ball-bearing shrapnel. Punjab police chief Inam Ghani, who described the blast as an “unfortunate terrorist act”, said the nature of the explosion would be determined after a thorough analysis by experts.

Several buildings and vehicles near the scene of the explosion were damaged, witnesses said. They added that several victims were lying in a pool of blood and crying for help, as the area was filled with dust immediately after the blast.

According to investigators, a preliminary investigation suggested that around 25-30 kilogrammes of explosives could have been used in the blast, as it had left a three feet deep and five feet wide crater at the spot, while shrapnel flew as far as 500 metres.

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