LAHORE: At least 50 people including women, children and Rangers personnel were killed and several injured as result of suicide attack near Wagah Border Lahore. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera said that a suicide bomber exploded his explosive jacket amid a crowd of people who were coming back after attending a flag hoisting ceremony at the border.
He said the attack occurred outside of the security barrier. Director of the Ghurki Trust Hospital, Naeem Ghurki, said a number of women and children were also among the killed and injured. The official said the death toll may further rise as a number of the injured are in critical condition. Talking to media, Director General Punjab Rangers, Major General Tahir Javed said three Rangers personnel were among the dead, and five others received injuries. The rescue teams reached the sight of the attack as soon as the news arrived and transported the dead bodies and injured to the nearest Ghurki Trust Hospital where they’re being given initial treatment.
According to the reports, the Gurki Trust Hospital facility was insufficient to cater so many people. Therefore, many patients who don’t need care on emergency basis are being transferred to other hospital.
An emergency state has been declared in all state-run hospitals in Lahore. All the hospitals have also appealed to the public for blood donations for the injured.
Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has summoned the report of the incident.
The incident took place at 5:50 p.m. local time outside a restaurant near the first gate of the venue where a ceremony was held.
Hundreds of people show up at Wagah Border to witness enthusiastic parade at the border with neighbouring India. Reportedly, the explosion took place just after the parade ended. Every day before sunset soldiers from Pakistan and India gather at the Wagah border crossing, drawing big crowds on both sides, to simultaneously lower the two nations’ flags. According to police officials, a boy of 18 years of age conducted the attack. At least five kg of explosives, along with ball bearings, was used in the blast, police said. Police has found the head and legs of the suicide bomber and was searching his other body parts. Police and security forces have cordoned off the area and launched a search operation. President Mamnoon Hussain, PM Nawaz and CM Punjab Shahbaz have expressed grief and shock over the loss of precious lives in the blast.
In their separate statements, they expressed sympathy with the bereaved families. The PM sought report of the incident and directed the concerned authorities to provide best medical treatment to the injured. NNI