Published On: Thu, May 9th, 2019
Published in Category: Lahore

CM Punjab denies any specific security threat on Data Darbar

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LAHORE/ISLAMABAD/LONDON: At least 10 people including five police officials were martyred and 20 injured in a suicide blast outside the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore on Wednesday.

According to police reports, the blast targeted a police van carrying the Elite Force of Punjab Police.

Inspector-General Punjab Police Captain (retd) Arif Nawaz Khan confirmed the attack targeted the police force, and said five elite police officials died in the blast. A security guard and civilians were also among the dead. Arif Nawaz Khan said 7kg of explosives were used in the blast.

The martyred police officers were identified as Head Constable Shahid Nazir, Head Constable Mohammad Sohail, and Constable Mohammad Saleem.

Meanwhile, Rescue 1122 officials and police officers rushed to the spot along with a heavy convoy of police forces, and began rescue operation and investigation, respectively.

The injured persons, including two women and three police officers, were shifted to hospitals, where an emergency has been imposed, for their treatment. Some of the patients are said to be critical. Many wounded persons were shifted to the Mayo Hospital.

“Police was the prime target in this attack. We are collecting forensic evidences to ascertain the nature of the blast. This attack has left nine dead and 24 injured,” said Ashfaq Khan, deputy inspector general of police operations in Lahore.

Many people were wounded and Mohammad Farooq, a spokesman for the city’s rescue services, said at least seven or eight of them were in critical condition.

According to reports, police has determined the age of the suicide bomber to be around 15-16 years and his hand has been sent to the NADRA for fingerprint recognition.

The suicide bomber blew himself up at 8:54am near elite force vehicles at police picket at Gate 2 of the shrine. One of the vehicles was completely destroyed.

Moreover, footage of the attack has been sent to the Crime Investigation Department (CTD) and other investigation agencies.

Lahore Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed told media that one of the dead bodies brought in to Mayo Hospital was that of the suspected attacker.

“It was a suicide attack. Ball bearings were also used in the attack,” she told reporters.

Entry to the Data Darbar was sealed in the aftermath of the blast, and Zaireens were asked to turn away as police conduct an initial investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile President Dr Arif Alvi has strongly condemned the blast in Lahore. He deplored the loss of precious lives in the incident. He said those involved in such despicable incident in the holy month of Ramadan are misguided elements.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly denounced the blast outside Data Darbar in Lahore.

Deploring the loss of precious lives, he has sought report into the incident. The Prime Minister commiserated with the bereaved families and directed the authorities concerned to provide best possible medical treatment to those injured in the blast. He prayed for early recovery of the injured.

Special Assistant to Prime Minster on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has strongly condemned the incident of blast in Lahore.

In a statement on Wednesday, she said those who target shrines are enemies of Islam and Pakistan and they are conspiring to stoke destabilization in the country.

The Special Assistant expressed deep grief and condolence to families of martyrs. She said nation, armed forces, rangers, police and other law enforcement agencies have sacrificed to curb the menace of terrorism. Reaffirming the resolve against terrorism, she said our nation has remained steadfast against the terrorists.

PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Mian Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif and Awami National Party General Secretary Ameer Hoti both condemned the attack.

The former chief minister of Punjab expressed grief at the loss of life and said, “The peace that prevailed in the last five years needs to be restored in the country.”

“Terrorists have no religion. The government and law enforcement agencies should be worried about such incidents of terrorism,” Hoti said.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has also condemned the blast in Lahore. He expressed profound grief and sorrow over loss of precious lives in incident and expressed sympathy with bereaved families.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar on Wednesday said the government did not receive any specific security threats regarding the Data Darbar suicide attack which killed 10 and injured 28 persons.

Talking to media men, he said the information on different threats was a routine but no specific threat regarding Data Darbar was received by the law enforcement or intelligence agencies.

Provincial Law Minister Raja Mohammad Basharat, Minister Auqaf and Religious Affairs Syed Saeedul Hassan, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Capt (Retd) Arif Nawaz Khan and Deputy Commissioner Lahore Saleha Saeed were present.

The CM rejected the speculation that police did not reach the incident’s site on time, adding the police responded immediately with valour.

To another question, he said the culprits would be traced soon and apprehended by the police.

The CM said he had visited the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) headquarters after the incident and himself monitored the whole operation.

He also announced financial compensation for the victims of the incident.

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