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Suicide blast at Wagah kills 60, over 100 injured

03 November, 2014

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LAHORE: At least 60 persons including women, children and paramilitary troops were killed and over 80 injured in deadly suicide attack in front of a roadside restaurant in Wagha Border market on Sunday evening.

Hospital sources said that condition of several injured people was serious and it was feared that death toll could rise further. Banned organisation Jundullah has claimed the responsibility of attack. Punjab Police Inspector General Mushtaq Sukhera said that a suicide bomber aged between 18 to 20 years blew him when hundreds of people including women and children were dispersing after witnessing flag lowering ceremony at Wagah border.

It was high intensity explosion heard in adjoining localities and created panic at the scene of explosion and among the people present in the surroundings. Police said that over five kilogram explosive material was used in the blast. Huge amount of ball bearings was found at the scene of blast.

Rescue 1122 staff rushed the scene of explosion and started rescue operation. The bodies and injured were shifted to Ghurki Trust Hospital through ambulances. In view of shortage of ambulances, people shifted the dead and injured on self help basis. Because of inadequate facilities at Ghurki Trust Hospital, some of the injured were transferred to Shalamar Hospital and to other government hospitals in Lahore.

Emergency has been imposed in all the hospitals of Lahore in view of this unfortunate incident. Ghurki Trust Hospital medical superintendent said that the deceased included 10 women, seven children and three Rangers personnel. Eight members of same family and five belonging to another family were among the victims of blast.

Security forces and Rangers sealed the area after the blast. According to the eye-witnesses, explosion occurred exactly after the parade at Wahga Border ended. IGP Mushtaq Sukhera said, "There were security threats and the Rangers were prepared but when large numbers of people started to leave the ground, the bomber blew himself causing loss of lives." The police chief denied that this incident was because of a security lapse as the border is a Rangers area.

Sources said that intelligence agencies had informed the Punjab government about possible terror attack during Ashura Muharram. Intelligence sources said that the suspected suicide bomber was named Abdul Rehman who went underground for last few months and it was feared that he could target any procession or important personality during Muharram. Police reacting to intelligence reports continued efforts to trace the suspected terrorist but failed to arrest him.

Meanwhile, banned organisation Jundullah has claimed the responsibility of the suicide attack at Wagah border. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain have strongly condemned the dastardly act of terrorism and sought a report from the Interior Minister. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has demanded immediate inquiry report of the incident.

Leaders of various political parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F chief Fazlur Rehman, Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Qaid Muttahida Qaumi Movement Altaf Hussain, former president Pervez Musharraf and others have also condemned the suicide attack on innocent civilians and said that such cowardly attacks can't weaken the government resolve to deal with menace of terrorism and extremism in Pakistan. They also express sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for early recovery of the injured.

End.

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