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Friday, July 2, 2010

41 Dead in Punjab Terrorist Attack

In the first terrorist attack of its kind in the Punjab capital, two alleged suicide bombers blew themselves up at the shrine on Thursday night, killing at least 41 people and injuring 170 others.

The first explosion took place in the basement reserved for ablution and the second in front of the shrine’s main building where a large number of people from across the province gather for worship on Thursdays.

At first, police announced that some crackers had exploded near the shrine.

The two bombers entered the shrine and exploded themselves three minutes apart.

Surveillance cameras, walkthrough gates and metal detectors turned out to be ineffective.

Around 100 volunteers and several policemen were present in and around the shrine, searching visitors thoroughly. 

Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmad told Dawn that two suicide attacks had been carried out and investigators had found the bombers’ skulls and limbs.

He said ball-bearings and other material used in the blasts had also been collected.

Lahore Commissioner Khusro Pervaiz Bakhtiar told journalists at the spot that the bombers had blown themselves up during a large congregation.

In reply to a question about involvement of a foreign hand in the attack, he said the strike was a horrible conspiracy but “our own people become instruments in the hands of others”.

The official said an investigation had been launched about the breach in security measures.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.  

On Friday, the Pakistani Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.

“We are not responsible for these attacks, this is a conspiracy by foreign secret agencies, you know we do not attack public places,” Azam Tariq, a spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Read the full report here.

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