52 killed, 200 injured in suicide attack at Wagah border in Pakistan
WAGAH BORDER: At least 52 people, including children
and security personnel, were killed and about 200 others injured in a powerful
suicide blast in Pakistan at Wagah on Sunday,
minutes after the popular flag-lowering ceremony at the main Indo-Pak land
Officials said that it was suicide attack and at least
52 people had been killed and 200 had sustained injuries.
“A large number of people were returning after
watching Rangers flag ceremony at Wagah border when a suicide bomber blew
himself up near one of the exit gates,” Inspector General of Punjab Police
Mushtaq Sukhera said. He said three Pakistan Rangers personnel were also among
To a question about security arrangements, Sukhera
said, “The Rangers had made stringent security measures but it was difficult to
check suicide bomber.” The al-Qaeda affiliated group Jandullah has claimed
responsibility for the attack.
Huge crowds gather every evening at the crossing, 22
kilometres from Lahore, to watch a “lowering of the flags” ceremony and witness
the energetic display of military pageantry that accompanies the formal closing
of the border post which soldiers from both countries have conducted for
In the wake of Muharram, the police had made strict
security measures. “We had reports that some banned outfits might target Shias,
religious personalities, public processions and important buildings,: Sukhera
He said, “Our teams have confirmed that it was a
suicide blast.” The IG said that the suicide bomber was stopped at the gate of
the parade ground at the border and detonated the bomb right when people
gathered near the gate.
“Up to five kilogrammes of explosive material was used
in the blast,” Sukhera said. “The bomb exploded outside a restaurant near a Pakistani
paramilitary soldiers’ checkpoint at Wagah border,” he added.