Suicide blast at Wagah border kills 55, injures 120 others

Conflicting claims of responsibility for the attack, with Jundullah, Jamatul Ahrar, TTP-Mehsud claiming the attack


Afp/Rameez Ahmad/ali Usman/web Desk November 02, 2014

LAHORE: A suicide bomber killed at least 55 people Sunday at the Pakistan-India border crossing at Wagah.

The explosion, which wounded more than 120, came at Wagah border gate after the "flag-lowering" ceremony culminated on Sunday evening which attracts thousands of spectators every day and is popular with foreign tourists.

"It appears to have been a suicide attack. At least 55 people have been killed and more than 120 wounded. Women and children were also killed," Mushtaq Sukhera, the Punjab provincial police chief, told AFP.

Sharif expressed "grief and sorrow" over the attack in a statement issued by his office and ordered those responsible to be brought to justice.

His Indian counterpart Narendra Modi condemned the "shocking" and "dastardly" attack. "My condolences to the families of the deceased. Prayers with the injured," he said.

Punjab Rangers DG Maj-Gen Tahir Javed said that three of Rangers had been killed in the blast, which came around 500 metres from the post itself.

There were several conflicting claims of responsibility for the attack.



November 2, 11:10pm


Map of the border post and the blast.


Ambulances and security officials at the Gurkhi Trust Teaching Hospital near Wagah. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS


A car of the forensic department heading towards the crime scene near Wagah. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS


Ambulances and security officials at the Gurkhi Trust Teaching Hospital near Wagah. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

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November 2, 10:50pm

In an emailed statement, Jamatul Ahrar spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan has claimed that his group carried out the Sunday evening attack at the Wagah border. He warned of more attacks in the future.

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November 2, 10:30pm

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned the blast at Wagah border post and has offered his condolences to the victims.





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November 2, 10:25pm

IG Punjab says between 12 to 15 kilogrammes of explosives were used in Sunday's suicide attack.
The attackers had used nails and ball bearings along with explosives.

There were conflicting claims about the group who took responsibility for the attack. Jamatul Ahrar militant group and the TTP Mehsud have claimed responsibility for the attack, Express News reported.

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November 2, 10:07pm

Police say the toll from the Wagah blast has risen to 55 people. More than 120 people were wounded in the suicide bombing.

The casualty list includes three Rangers, 11 women and three children.

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November 2, 9:45pm
Press Trust of India reports that India will not be holding the "beating retreat" ceremony at the Wagah-Attari border on Pakistan's request for three days in light of Sunday's blast.



Punjab Rangers too have announced that the "beating retreat" ceremony at the Wagah border will not be held for three days.

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November 2, 9:43pm

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has 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 reports.

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ovember 2, 9:40pm

Here are some shots from the blast site



Ball bearings were used in the attack



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November 2, 9:26pm

The Express Tribune correspondent Rameez Ahmad reports that the Punjab Rangers have taken over security for Gurkhi hospital and have restricted access to the building. They have stopped family members of the victims from entering the hospital, resulting in a commotion at the site.



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November 2, 9:16pm

The death toll has now risen to 54, including 11 women and three children, Express News reports.

The three Rangers officials killed in the blast have been identified as Inspector Rizwan, Naik Shabbir and Lance Naik Shabbir Saleem.

Further, Express News correspondent Noman Sheikh says ther is a possibility heavy explosives may have been used in the attack.

“Initial reports had suggested that the attack was a suicide; however, investigators are trying to determine if a remote controlled or a timed device was used.”

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November 2, 9:02pm

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) was put on high alert along the India Pakistan border after the blast, NDTV reported.

BSF officials at Attari border in Punjab said that the blast was heard at a distance of nearly two kilometres.

“We have put our troopers on high alert along the entire border following the Wagah incident. We are trying to get details," a BSF official said.

RPS Jaswal, deputy inspector general of India's Border Security Force which guards Attari, said Indian side of the border was secure, but security had been stepped up.

"A red alert has been issued keeping in view the blast across the border in ... Pakistan," Jaswal told AFP by phone from his base near the city of Amritsar.

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November 2, 9:00pm



Relatives gather around the bodies of blast victims. PHOTO: AFP 

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November 2, 8:32pm

The al Qaeda affiliated group Jundullah has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Express News.

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November 2, 8:28pm

DCO Lahore while speaking to Express News said over 70 injured in the blast have been shifted to three different hospitals of the city.

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November 2, 8:22pm

The death toll now stands at 52 and over 75 people have been injured, our correspondent Rameez Ahmed reported.

Eight people belonging to one family have also been killed in the incident.

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November 2, 8:10pm



Express News screengrab of the blast site.

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November 2, 8:20pm

Punjab DG Rangers Maj-General Tahir Javed Khan confirmed that three Rangers personnel have died.

“Five Ranger officials have been critically injured as well,” he added, while addressing the media in Lahore.

Confirming that it was a suicide blast, DG Rangers said, “The suicide bomber was standing just before the first scanner and he did not breach security.”

“The place where the suicide attacker exploded is 500-600 yards way from the parade ground,” he said. “Walk through gates and scanners were installed near the parade ground.”

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November 2, 7:55pm



Express News screengrab of Rangers standing near the bodies of the victims of the blast at Ghurki hospital.

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November 2, 7:50pm

President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif  and Punjab Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif have expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the blast, Radio Pakistan reported.

In separate statements, they expressed sympathy with bereaved families.

The premier has sought a report of the incident and directed the concerned authorities to provide the best medical treatment to the injured people.

Further, he has directed the interior ministry and law enforcement agencies to provide all necessary support to the Punjab government in investigating the Wagah incident.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident and sought report from the administration and police authorities.

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November 2, 7:46pm



Express News screengrab of relatives gathered outside the hospital.

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November 2, 7:45pm

Punjab police chief Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera has confirmed that it was a suicide attack.

Speaking to Express News, IG Punjab 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.

"Up to five kilogrammes of explosive material was used in the blast," Sukhera said.

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

“There were security threats and the Rangers were prepared but when large numbers of people started to leave the ground, the bomber blew himself causing loss of lives.”

The police chief denied that this incident was because of a security lapse as the border is a Rangers area.

The explosion occurred in the parking area of the Wagah border between India and Pakistan, as the flag hoisting ceremony ended.

Initially it was reported that it was a cylinder blast.

“We think it is sabotage,” DIG Operations Haider Ashraf said, while talking to media representatives.

He urged families to give way to injured people and ambulances that are still being brought in.

The Punjab health department has imposed an emergency in all teaching hospitals in Lahore following the blast.

“The injured were initially taken to Ghurki Hospital, which is nearest to the site of the blast,” adding “Patients in critical condition are being shifted to Services Hospital for the treatment,” the health department spokesperson said.

Police and rescue officials have reached the scene and further investigations are underway.

COMMENTS (87)

JSM | 6 years ago | Reply

@Candid1: If India has done it then accept it thst they have done a good job.

As an indian, I can say it categorically tha we are incapable of pulling off a job like this.

I along with fellow Indians join in the sorrow of those who lost their close ones.

numbersnumbers | 6 years ago | Reply

@rana: All should note that "newsrealities" is a blog, not a news organization! As usual falsely points to "many" indian consulates opened along pak/afghan border, but somehow can't tell us where they are located!!!

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