Nine killed in suicide attack in Lahore (Second Lead)

August 14th, 2008 - 1:47 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban
Islamabad, Aug 14 (Xinhua) At least nine people, including two police officials, were killed and 35 others injured in a suicide attack targeting the police in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, The Nation newspaper reported Thursday. A suicide bomber blew himself up at the crowded Moon Market in front of Iqbal Town police station in Lahore, capital of Punjab province late Wednesday night as people were busy preparing for the celebration of the country’s 61st Independence Day Thursday, said the report.

The bomber came on foot and targeted the policemen on duty at the Moon Market, one of the busiest markets in the city.

“A young man in his twenties approached the police party and blew himself up,” a DPA report quoted Mushtaq Sukhera, deputy inspector general for investigations, as saying.

A high alert has been declared in Lahore and more police forces were called to maintain law and order.

The attack came hours after multiple missiles targeted a compound used by the followers of a hardcore pro-Taliban tribal commander, Mullah Nazir, in Baghar village in the restive tribal district South Waziristan. The strike killed at least 10 Islamic militants, including some suspected Al Qaeda fighters.

“Preliminary reports say at least four missiles hit the compound, killing more than 10 militants,” according to a senior security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue. “Among them were also foreigners.”

The security official said forces across the border had fired guided missiles, while the local residents claimed a US drone was seen flying in the area at the time of the strike.

US forces in Afghanistan have launched several missile strikes this year in Pakistan’s tribal area, which is home to sanctuaries of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants launching cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda’s chemical weapons expert Abu Khabab al-Masri, also known as Midhat Mursi, was killed in a similar strike in South Waziristan on July 28.

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