Punjab Home Minister, 19 others killed in suicide bombing
ATTOCK: A suicide bomber on Sunday killed Punjab Home Minister Col (retd) Shuja Khanzada and nineteen others at his political office in Attock district, a gov't adviser said. Adviser to Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, Dr Saeed Elahi, confirmed Khanzada's death. Witnesses said the bomber struck a gathering of up-to 30 people at the guest house of the minister at village Shadi Khan. The minister used to meet the people at his political office on Sunday.
The blast was so powerful that roof of the building collapsed, burying the minister and the people there. Locals started rescue operation and pulled some bodies out of the rubble. Civil and military teams later joined the rescue operation. The Interior Ministry sources said the banned "Lashkar-e-Jhangvi" claimed responsibility for the attack. Family sources said Khanzada had initially refused to meet the people at his guest house as he had to attend some wedding ceremonies in his constituency.
However, he met the people on their request. The bomber blew himself up as he was listening to the visitors. His son Suhrab Khan, who was also at the guest house, said he had gone for a while to bring tea for the guest when he heard the huge blast. He said there were 20 to 30 people with his father at the time of the blast. DSP Hazro Shaukat Shah was among the dead, police said. Several police guards were also injured. An emergency was declared in hospitals in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The Inter Services Public Relations said, "Pakistan Army's special urban search and rescue teams reached the blast site."