Death toll in Lahore twin suicide bombing touches 59

Last Updated: Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 17:56

Lahore: The death toll in a twin suicide
bombing of an army patrol here yesterday rose to 59 on Saturday even as Pakistani law enforcement agencies rounded up some 75
suspects during an overnight crackdown.

The suicide bombers targeted army vehicles in the
heavily guarded cantonment yesterday afternoon.

The dead included 10 soldiers. Officials said the
death toll rose after several persons succumbed to their
injuries in hospital.

Over 130 people were injured in the twin suicide
attacks.

Officials said seven bodies of persons killed in the
attack within the cantonment were yet to be identified.

The dead soldiers were laid to rest in their native
villages.

Hours after the suicide bombings, a series of six
explosions occurred in the residential areas of Iqbal Town and
Samnabad.

The blasts were of low intensity and only three
persons sustained minor injuries.

Officials said some 75 suspects were taken into
custody by law enforcement agencies during overnight sweeps in
Lahore and the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

The late night blasts terrorised residents of Lahore,
who were already on edge following the suicide attacks in the
cantonment.

Markets in Lahore remained closed today to protest
yesterday’s bombings. Traffic on the roads was thin as people
preferred to remain indoors followings reports that a few
explosives-laden vehicles had entered the city.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the bombers
involved in yesterday?s suicide attacks were aged between 17
and 20 years. The head of one bomber was found intact.

"His features show that he was from the tribal areas
of the country," Sanaullah said.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and a hitherto unheard
of group called the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Almi both claimed
responsibility for the suicide attacks.

Police officials said investigators had collected
evidence at the blast sites and seized footage of closed
circuit TV cameras.

"We have taken a number of suspects into custody in
connection with the Lahore blasts," city police chief Pervez
Rathore told PTI.

Rathore did not rule out the involvement of banned
religious groups in the attacks. He said, "We are monitoring
the activities of the operatives of these outfits."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 17:56

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