La­hore Blast: sev­eral killed and in­jured....

The Miracle - - Front Page - Source: The

Se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers among at least 13 peo­ple killed and dozens wounded dur­ing phar­ma­cists’ protest at provin­cial assem­bly.Two se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers were among those killed by a sus­pected sui­cide bomb at­tack in the Pak­istani city of La­hore. The blast on Mon­day ripped through a crowd of peo­ple who had gath­ered for a protest by chemists and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers out­side the provin­cial assem­bly on Mall Road, La­hore’s grand Raj-era thor­ough­fare. Mush­taq Sukhera, inspector gen­eral of po­lice in Pun­jab prov­ince, said at least 13 peo­ple had been killed and 83 wounded. The vic­tims in­cluded five po­lice of­fi­cers, two of them, Zahid Gon­dal and Ah­mad Mobin, se­nior po­lice fig­ures in Pun­jab, Pak­istan’s largest and most in­flu­en­tial prov­ince.Mobin, a deputy inspector gen­eral of po­lice, had been on Mall Road to urge the man­u­fac­tur­ers to end their protest. Some eye­wit­nesses told lo­cal me­dia they saw a man on a mo­tor­bike cause an ex­plo­sion in the mid­dle of the crowd. The force was such that a nearby tele­vi­sion news van was al­most en­tirely de­stroyed.“Ap­par­ently it was a sui­cide blast, but po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing to know the ex­act na­ture,” a Pun­jab po­lice spokesman, Nayab Haider, told Reuters.A spokesman for Ja­maat-ul-Ahrar, a fac­tion of the Pak­istani Tal­iban, claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack. Pre­vi­ous at­tacks have at­tracted mul­ti­ple claims of re­spon­si­bil­ity from ri­val groups and it was im­pos­si­ble to im­me­di­ately ver­ify the claim. Se­cu­rity forces, in­clud­ing large con­tin­gents of sol­diers, cor­doned off the blast area.Of­fi­cials in the city had been braced for an in­ci­dent after the Na­tional Counter Ter­ror­ism Author­ity is­sued a warn­ing on 7 Fe­bru­ary that “an uniden­ti­fied ter­ror­ist group has planned a ter­ror­ist at­tack in La­hore”. It urged “ex­treme vig­i­lance and height­ened se­cu­rity mea­sures”.But Rana Sanaullah, the provin­cial law min­is­ter, said it had been im­pos­si­ble to pro­tect the crowd of pro­test­ers gath­ered on an open street. Ja­maat-ul-Ahrar also claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for an Easter Day bomb­ing in La­hore last year that killed more than 70 peo­ple in a pub­lic park.

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