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Wagah retreat ceremony held on small-scale on Indian side

PTI 04 Nov 2014, 7:13:41 AM IST

Wagah Border: The iconic flag-lowering and retreat ceremony at Wagah resumed partially on Monday on the Indian side, a day after a powerful terror blast killed 61 people across this border in Pakistan.

The Border Security Force (BSF) responded to a late evening communication by Pakistan Rangers to carry out the ceremony after they had on Sunday expressed their desire to stop it for three days.

"We were told about 4pm by Pak Rangers that they would want to carry out the evening ceremony ruling out their yesterday's wish to stop the ceremony for three days. As it was late for us to carry out the full-fledged drill our troops conducted a scaled-down procedure without the public," BSF chief D K Pathak said.

"We will be holding the full ceremony from tomorrow evening with the audience in attendance," he said.

BSF officials said they will deploy all the security and logistical measures from tomorrow to enable the people and tourists regale this over an hour ceremony.

Across the border, Pakistan this evening allowed general public to view the popular flag-lowering ceremony at Wagah along the Indo-Pak border. Pakistan has erected big tents to camouflage the blast site in order to hide the vision from Indian side.

Outside Attari Border, Indians were seen anxiously enquiring about the blast from visitors coming from Pakistan. BSF were also availing the help of sniffer dogs to check the luggage of Pakistani passengers. In the evening, Punjab Frontier Inspector General BSF Ashok Kumar along with senior officers visited international border to take stock of the situation besides checking the security measure.

At least 61 people were killed and nearly 200 injured when a suicide attacker detonated a powerful bomb at Wagah in Pakistan on Sunday, minutes after the flag-lowering ceremony at the land border crossing finished.