August 1, 2009 / 2:25 PM / 9 years ago

Pakistan arrests suspect in Marriott hotel bombing

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani police have arrested an activist from an al Qaeda-linked militant group on suspicion of involvement in a suicide attack on Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel last year that killed 55 people, police said on Saturday.

The suspected, identified as Qari Shakir Rao, belonged to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), and was arrested on the outskirts of Islamabad this week.

Naeem Ahmed, a police spokesman, said Rao was also suspected of involvement in several other attacks.

“Investigations are under way and we hope to glean useful information from him,” he said.

Six foreigners, including the Czech ambassador and three Americans, were among those killed when a bomber blew up his explosive-laden truck after failing to ram it through the hotel’s front security gates on September 20.

The Sunni Muslim LeJ is one of Pakistan’s most notorious al Qaeda-linked groups that began by targeting minority Shi’ite Muslims in the 1990s.

Reporting by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Alison Williams

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