Five suspects held over Lahore suicide attack

The bomber, believed to be 14 or 15 years old, was wearing a suicide jacket and carrying a bag filled with explosives.

Updated: Jan 26, 2011, 17:01 PM IST

Lahore: Pakistani police have arrested five
suspects in connection with a suicide attack carried out by a
teenage bomber on policemen guarding a Shia procession that
killed 13 people and injured nearly 70, officials said on Wednesday.

"Some of the detained suspects belong to banned religious
groups," said Senior Superintendent of Police Zulifqar Hameed.

A large Shia procession was on its way to the Karbala
Gamay Shah `imambargah` or prayer hall yesterday when the
suicide attacker blew himself up after being challenged by
policemen in the Lohari Gate area of the old quarters of
Lahore.

"Had the teenage bomber managed to reach the procession,
the devastation would have been greater," Hameed said.

The bomber, believed to be 14 or 15 years old, was
wearing a suicide jacket and carrying a bag filled with
explosives.

"There were explosives in the bag and the boy probably
wanted to install it somewhere along the route of the
procession besides blowing himself up," Hameed said.

Shortly after the attack in Lahore, a suicide bomber
struck policemen guarding another Shia procession in Karachi.
Three persons were killed in that attack.

Last year, two bomb blasts in the Lohari Gate area of
Lahore had caused death and destruction on a large scale.

On July 1 last, over 40 people were killed and scores
injured when two suicide bombers struck the Data Darbar
shrine. Two months later, two suicide attacks targeting a Shia
procession killed 40 people.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility
for most of these attacks, including yesterday`s strike in
Lahore.

Punjab police chief Javed Iqbal today said an
investigation team has been formed to look into the Lohari
Gate suicide attack.

He was speaking to reporters at the funeral prayers for
policemen killed in the attack.

The funeral prayers were attended by Governor Latif
Khosa, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and a large number of
policemen.

The Chief Minister paid tribute to the dead policemen and
promised to look after their families.

Sharif was embroiled in a controversy last year when he
asked the Taliban to spare Punjab province, saying his PML-N
party and the militants were against the policies of former
President Pervez Musharraf.

PTI