PM Modi condemns terror attack in Pakistan near Wagah border

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the terror attack in Pakistan near Wagah Border on Sunday and offered his condolences to the families of the deceased.

Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the terror attack in Pakistan near Wagah Border on Sunday and offered his condolences to the families of the deceased.

The PM posted on the micro-blogging site Twitter: “Terror attack in Pakistan near Wagah Border is shocking. I strongly condemn such a dastardly act of terrorism.”

In another post he wrote: “My condolences to the families of the deceased. Prayers with the injured.”

At least 55 people, including 11 women and three security personnel, were killed and nearly 200 injured when a suicide attacker detonated a powerful bomb at Wagah in Pakistan today, minutes after the popular flag- lowering ceremony at the main Indo-Pak land border crossing.

"A large number of people were returning after watching Rangers flag ceremony at Wagah border when a suicide bomber blew himself up near one of the exit gates," Inspector General Police of Punjab Police Mushtaq Sukhera said. He said three Pakistani Rangers were also among the dead, as per PTI.

Sukhera said: "The Rangers had made stringent security measures but it was difficult to check suicide bomber".

Officials said that it was a suicide attack and at least 55 people, including women, children and security personnel, had been killed and 200 had sustained injuries.

He said the 20-year-old bomber was carrying 20 to 25 kilogrammes of explosives with him, some of which was hidden inside his jacket.

Al Qaeda affiliated militant group Jandullah, which was behind a suicide bombing that killed at least 78 Christians at a church in Peshawar September last year, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The spokesman of the splinter group of the Tehreek-i- Taliban Pakistan Ahmed Marwat said the attack was a reaction to military operation Zarb-i-Azb and Waziristan operation.

Huge crowds gather every evening at the Wagah crossing, 22 kilometres from Lahore, to watch a "lowering of the flags" ceremony and witness the energetic display of military pageantry that accompanies the formal closing of the border post which soldiers from both countries have conducted for decades.

Earlier reports had said it could be a cylinder blast.

In the wake of Muharram, the police had made strict security measures.

"We had reports that some banned outfits might target Shias, religious personalities, public processions and important buildings," Sukhera said.

He said: "Our teams have confirmed that it was a suicide blast".

The IG said that the suicide bomber was stopped at the gate of the parade ground at the border and detonated the bomb right when people gathered near the gate.

"The bomb exploded outside a restaurant near a Pakistani paramilitary soldiers' checkpoint at Wagah border," he added.

"People were returning after watching the parade at Wagah border when the blast took place. Ball bearings were found at the scene," another police official said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned the Lahore blast

and ordered authorities to provide best medical assistance to the injured.

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif expressed the government's resolve to fight terrorism in the country. In a statement, he said the terrorists cannot dent the resolve of the nation to fight terrorism, Radio Pakistan reported.

With PTI inputs