Sharifs condemn Lahore bomb attacksMarch 11th, 2008 - 7:13 pm ICT by admin
Lahore, Mar.11 (ANI): Pakistan Muslim League (N) chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif today condemned the two bomb blasts in Lahore that claimed the lives of at least 25 people,including 13 Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials, and left another 200 injured.
Expressing their grief over the loss of precious lives, the Sharifs cancelled all their public engagements for the day, and said:No religion permits such abominable acts against innocent humans. Terrorism and lawlessness are the foremost problems faced by the country, which can be resolved with democratic measures.
The two bombs ripped through a federal police headquarters and an advertising agency in Lahore on Tuesday morning. The blasts were the latest in a wave of violence across Pakistan that has left more than 600 people dead this year and posed a serious challenge to an incoming coalition government that won elections on February 18.
The deadliest blast demolished much of the seven-storied federal police headquarters, which has now been declared too dangerous for occupation.
Rescue workers in orange jackets continue to frantically claw through the debris at the site of the blast in an attempt to retrieve survivors, if any.
“It was a suicide attack on the FIA office and it was the target,” Lahore police chief Malik Mohammad Iqbal said.
Lawyer Wali Mohammed Khan, who was on the second floor of the building when the explosion happened, said the blast was “so intense that I was literally blown off my chair.”
FIA chief Tariq Pervez said paramedics were “trying to rescue survivors from under the rubble.”
The building also housed the offices of a US-trained special investigation unit created to counter terrorism, which was possibly the intended target, security officials said.
Pools of blood and small pieces of human flesh lay scattered on the ground outside the eight-storey building, along with clothes and pairs of shoes that were abandoned by people as they ran away.
The second near-simultaneous blast was also caused by a suicide car bomb and hit an advertising agency in an upscale neighbourhood of the city, killing another four people, including two children, police said.
“An explosives-laden vehicle was rammed into the office,” interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said.
President Pervez Musharraf, a key US ally in the “war on terror”, condemned the “savage act” and said that the “acts of terrorism cannot deter government’s resolve to fight the scourge with full force,” state media said.
The explosions came a week after two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the Naval War College in Lahore, killing at least five people and wounding 19, officials said.
Pakistan has been rocked by six major blasts since parliamentary polls on February 18, which were won by the parties of slain ex-premier Benazir Bhutto and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Benazir Bhutto herself was killed in a suicide attack in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on December 27.
The parties at the weekend signed an agreement on forming a coalition government that is likely to take on Musharraf, but it must also grapple with the tide of violence engulfing the country.
Pakistan has been combating an Islamist insurgency led by Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters since Musharraf joined the US-led “war on terror” in 2001, but the violence has soared since the start of 2007.
Many of the attacks have targeted the armed forces, police and security forces. The army’s top medical officer, Lieutenant General Mushtaq Baig, was killed in a suicide attack in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on February 25. (ANI)
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