11 killed, 68 hurt in Lahore suicide car bombing (Second Lead)

March 8th, 2010 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Nawaz Sharif Lahore, March 8 (IANS) Eleven people were killed and 68 injured when a bomber rammed a car stuffed with explosives into a building housing an investigative agency in this Pakistani city, the police said.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) building, located in the upmarket residential Model Town neighbourhood, was teeming with employees when the deafening blast shattered it.

“It was a car bomb. The terrorists detonated the explosive-laden vehicle at the main gate,” DPA quoted Tariq Saleem Dogar, the police chief for Punjab province, as saying.

The FIA probes terror-related incidents. An FIA building in Lahore bore the brunt of a bomb attack in October 2009.

Government official Sajjad Bhutta said at least 600 kg of explosives were used in the blast, Geo TV reported.

A police official said the FIA’s special investigation unit was located in the residential area as there was shortage of offices.

A student nearby recalled the horror of the car bombing.

“We were in class when a huge blast took place. It shattered window glass. I was thrown several feet away,” the student at the Quran Academy seminary said.

The explosion was so powerful that it created a huge crater and damaged buildings close by.

Eyewitnesses said smoke billowed from the blast site.

Television channels showed people trying to pull out bodies and the injured from the rubble.

Lahore Commissioner Khusro Pervez said the death toll may go up as several people were believed to be under the debris of the two-storeyed razed building.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bombing damaged several buildings and vehicles in Model Town, home to a number of politicians including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Xinhua news agency reported.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said militants had moved to cities after facing defeat in tribal regions and the Swat Valley.

“Those who are killing innocent people are not Muslims, they are hired assassins,” Malik told reporters in Islamabad.

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