Pakistan's Punjab Home Minister killed in suicide attack

Islamabad: Pakistan's Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada was among 10 people killed on Sunday when a suicide attack destroyed his office in Attock city, authorities said.

Khanazada, a retired colonel of the Pakistan Army, succumbed to serious injuries he suffered after being buried under the rubble of the building, Punjab chief minister's advisor Syeed Ilahi told Geo TV.

According to interior ministry sources, the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) group took responsibility for the audacious suicide attack.

It was not immediately clear how many attackers were involved and how the explosion occurred.

Khanzada, who was given charge of the home ministry in October last year, had been facing death threats since the killing of LeJ chief Malik Ishaq in July.

The powerful explosion brought down the minister's office, trapping 20-25 people including the minister. Khanzada's son Sohrab said that his father was in the office when the blast took place.

A number of the dead were pulled out of the rubble.

The minister was actively involved in major operations against terrorist groups. His department is responsible for the maintenance of law and order.

Rescue operations were underway at the scene of the attack, media reports said. A helicopter had been pressed into service.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the terror attack.

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