Pakistan detained more than 5,000 after Easter bombing killed 70: provincial minister

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Explosion in Pakistan Targets Easter Gathering, Killing at Least 65

ISLAMABAD, March 29 (Reuters) - Pakistani authorities detained more than 5,000 suspected militants in two days since a suicide bomber attacked crowds in a busy park in the eastern city of Lahore on Easter Day, killing at least 70 people, a provincial minister said on Tuesday.

Investigators later released all but 216 suspects, who had been referred for further investigation, said Rana Sanaullah, a state minister for Punjab province from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's ruling party.

SEE MORE: Pakistanis hunt militants behind blast that killed at least 70

He said the raids were carried out by a mixture of police, counter-terrorism and intelligence agents and confirmed that army and paramilitary forces would be used in future operations

"This operation will include all law enforcement agencies," Sanaullah said.

(Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Pakistan detained more than 5,000 after Easter bombing killed 70: provincial minister
Forensic officers look for evidence at the site of a blast that happened outside a public park on Sunday, in Lahore, Pakistan, March 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
Family members mourn the death of a relative, who was killed in a blast that happened outside a public park on Sunday, in Lahore, Pakistan, March 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
A forensic officer looks for evidence at the site of a blast that happened outside a public park on Sunday, in Lahore, Pakistan, March 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
Pakistani security officials collect evidence at the cordoned-off site of the March 27 suicide bombing, in Lahore on March 28, 2016. The toll from a suicide blast in Pakistan's Lahore rose to 69, officials said on March 28, as authorities hunted for the 'savage inhumans' behind the attack in a park packed with Christian families celebrating Easter Sunday. More than 200 people were injured, many of them children, when explosives packed with ball bearings ripped through crowds near a children's play area in the park in Lahore, leaving dozens dead or bloodied. / AFP / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani relatives mourn over the body of a victim during a funeral following an overnight suicide bombing in Lahore on March 28, 2016. The toll from a suicide blast in Pakistan's Lahore rose to 69, officials said on March 28, as authorities hunted for the 'savage inhumans' behind the attack in a park packed with Christian families celebrating Easter Sunday. More than 200 people were injured, many of them children, when explosives packed with ball bearings ripped through crowds near a children's play area in the park in Lahore, leaving dozens dead or bloodied. / AFP / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani rescuers use a stretcher to shift a body from a bomb blast site in Lahore on March 27, 2016. At least 25 people were killed and dozens injured when an explosion ripped through the parking lot of a crowded park where many minority Christians had gone to celebrate Easter Sunday in the Pakistani city Lahore, officials said. / AFP / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani women mourn the death of relatives after a bomb blast in Lahore on March 27, 2016. At least 25 people were killed and dozens injured when an explosion ripped through the parking lot of a crowded park where many minority Christians had gone to celebrate Easter Sunday in the Pakistani city Lahore, officials said. / AFP / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani rescuers carry a body in an ambulance from a bomb blast site in Lahore on March 27, 2016. At least 25 people were killed and dozens injured when an explosion ripped through the parking lot of a crowded park where many minority Christians had gone to celebrate Easter Sunday in the Pakistani city Lahore, officials said. / AFP / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani rescuers and officials gather at a bomb blast site in Lahore on March 27, 2016. At least 25 people were killed and dozens injured when an explosion ripped through the parking lot of a crowded park where many minority Christians had gone to celebrate Easter Sunday in the Pakistani city Lahore, officials said. / AFP / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members mourn the death of a relative, who was killed in a blast outside a public park on Sunday, during funeral in Lahore, Pakistan, March 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
LAHORE, PAKISTAN - MARCH 28: Pakistani commando stand guard at the suicide blast site in Lahore on March 28, 2016. At least 70 people, mostly women and children, have been killed at a crowded park in Pakistan in a suicide blast that also wounded more than 300 people. (Photo by Rana Irfan Ali /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LAHORE, PAKISTAN - MARCH 28: Pakistani commando stand guard at the suicide blast site in Lahore on March 28, 2016. At least 70 people, mostly women and children, have been killed at a crowded park in Pakistan in a suicide blast that also wounded more than 300 people. (Photo by Rana Irfan Ali /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LAHORE, PAKISTAN - MARCH 28: Pakistani forensics collect evidence at the site of a suicide bombing in Lahore, on March 28, 2016. At least 70 people, mostly women and children, have been killed at a crowded park in Pakistan in a suicide blast that also wounded more than 300 people. (Photo by Rana Irfan Ali /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LAHORE, PAKISTAN - MARCH 28: Pakistani commando stand guard at the suicide blast site in Lahore on March 28, 2016. At least 70 people, mostly women and children, have been killed at a crowded park in Pakistan in a suicide blast that also wounded more than 300 people. (Photo by Rana Irfan Ali /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LAHORE, PAKISTAN - MARCH 28: Pakistani commando stand guard at the suicide blast site in Lahore on March 28, 2016. At least 70 people, mostly women and children, have been killed at a crowded park in Pakistan in a suicide blast that also wounded more than 300 people. (Photo by Rana Irfan Ali /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LAHORE, PAKISTAN - MARCH 28: Pakistani commando stand guard at the suicide blast site in Lahore on March 28, 2016. At least 70 people, mostly women and children, have been killed at a crowded park in Pakistan in a suicide blast that also wounded more than 300 people. (Photo by Rana Irfan Ali /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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