Suicide bomber blows himself up during protest rally; Pakistan Taliban-linked Jamaat-Ur-Ahrar claims bombing
Pakistani police officials move bodies of victims at the site of a bomb explosion in Lahore. Pic/AFP
Lahore: Three top police officers were among 16 people killed yesterday when a suicide bomber blew himself up targeting them during a protest rally outside Pakistan's Punjab assembly here that also left 60 others injured.
Lahore Traffic Police chief capt (R) Ahmed Mobeen, Senior Superintendent Police Zahid Gondal and DSP Pervez Butt were killed in the blast, multiple media reports said. Lahore police chief Amin Wains confirmed death of Mobeen. He, however, did not confirm about other casualties.
Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique said more than 60 people suffered injuries. The condition of some 11 injured is stated to be critical, the minister said. DIG Mobeen had survived an attempt to his life during his posting in Balochistan.
The blast occurred minutes after Mobeen arrived at the scene to negotiate with the chemists and pharmaceutical manufacturers who had been protesting outside the assembly. A TV footage shows that a motorcyclist dragging his bike close to police officers and blew himself up. Mobeen is seen in the footage negotiating with the protesters.
Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa condemned the terrorist attack and instructed area Army commander and intelligence agencies to provide all necessary assistance to the civil administration in the evacuation of injured to hospitals and also to apprehend those responsible for this heinous act.
The Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack. The group had claimed responsibility for a blast on March 27 last year at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore that left 75 people dead, mostly Christians who were celebrating Easter.
11 Number of people critically injured in the blast
Taliban gunmen kill Pak TV journalist
A cameraman of Samaa, a prominent Pakistani news channel was shot dead by motorcycle-borne Taliban gunmen on motorcycles, who indiscriminately fired upon a news gathering van in Karachi.
Police said assistant cameraman Taimur received a bullet shot to the head during the attack. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility.