Pakistan PM vows to battle militants as Wagah toll mounts
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed the military operations against militants would continue till their complete elimination as the Wagah suicide bombing toll mounted to 59, a media report said Monday.
Over 110 people were bloodied and wounded, some of them critically, when a young suicide bomber blew himself up near the Wagah border.
There were conflicting reports on the blast toll. Some media reports said that the toll was 59, while others put the number of dead at 60.
The responsibility was claimed separately by the Jundullah and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan-affiliated Jamaat-ul-Ahrar outfits.
Nawaz Sharif condemned the bombing and said that military operations against militants would continue till their complete elimination.
He ordered an inquiry and sought a report from Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif.
Punjab Law Minister, Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman claimed that the suicide bomber managed to cross four security checkposts on GT Road.
Two of the four posts had been set up after a threat was reported by the intelligence agencies Sunday morning.
The minister said the target of the bomber was the flag-lowering ceremony.
According to reports of the Punjab home ministry, 10 to 15 kg of explosives were used in the suicide bombing.
Evacuee Trust Property Board chairman Siddiqul Farooq said that the safety of over 2,000 Sikh pilgrims, who are scheduled to arrive in Lahore Tuesday for the three-day birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, will be ensured, Dawn reported.
"The suicide attack at Wagah looks like a security lapse and I will ensure this does not happen again, particularly when over 2,000 Sikh pilgrims arrive at the Wagah railway station.
"I have also urged Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique to check the trains, which will bring all the pilgrims," Farooq was quoted as saying.
Farooq said it was possible that the target was the main ceremony area, where a large crowd had gathered.
"The suicide bomber was stopped at the second of two checkposts leading to the ceremony area, where he blew himself up. It was possible that the terrorist reached the spot through the nearby fields."