Musharraf, Pak PM on Lahore suicide attack: Our resolve to combat terrorism cannot be weakened

January 10th, 2008 - 10:31 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, Jan 10 (ANI): Condemning the terrorist attack in Lahore, in which the death toll has climbed to 26, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Mohammadmian Soomro on Thursday said it would not weaken their resolve to fight terrorism.
“Those behind the cowardly attack cannot be the friends of Pakistan and their acts cannot weaken the governments resolve to fight against terrorism,” Musharraf and Soomro said in their message.
At least 22 police and four civilians were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the high court in the commercial heart of Lahore.
“Twenty-two policemen died in the attack, six are critically wounded,” said Lahore police chief Malik Iqbal, adding, “Around 35 have minor injuries. The suicide bomber approached the police picket and was signalled to stop.”
The bomber triggered a device packed with ball bearings when police stopped him outside the court.
The blast ripped through a busy square in the city centre as dozens of riot police gathered ahead of protest by lawyers against the Musharraf regime.
The President and Prime Minister have directed the law enforcing agencies to gear up their efforts in hunting down the perpetrators, The News reported.
Meanwhile, a red alert has been declared in Peshawar and additional police contingents have been deployed in the city.
A top security official in Peshawar said that security plan had already been chalked out and that security was beefed up after the Lahore suicide blast.
According to initial police report into the Lahore suicide attack, a 14-kg explosive material was used in the device, including four-kilogram of ball bearings and other material. The bomber used suicide belt for the attack with explosives laden pockets on both sides of the belt, said the report.
Interim Information Minister Nisar Memon said the latest bombing was part of a terrorist campaign to disrupt the elections and derail democracy in the Muslim country of some 160 million people.
“But we want to make it very clear that elections will be held as scheduled,” he told state television.
More than 70 persons were wounded in the incident and were taken to hospitals for medical aid.
Police are bracing for more violence during the holy month of Moharram starting Friday. (ANI)

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