Suicide attack: Zimbabwe's tour remains unaffected, will continue, says PCB

By AFP
Published: May 30, 2015
Email
Despite Rashid's comments, Lahore police says it was a gas cylinder explosion and not a terrorist act. PHOTO: AFP

Despite Rashid's comments, Lahore police says it was a gas cylinder explosion and not a terrorist act. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid admitted on Saturday that a suicide bomber was responsible for an explosion outside Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium that killed two people during a Pakistan-Zimbabwe cricket match, despite police insisting the explosion was accidental.

Friday’s incident, which triggered a news blackout in Pakistani media, came despite heavy security for the country’s first cricket series on home soil since an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009.

“The suicide bomber failed to enter the stadium due to the bravery of our police,” Pervez Rashid told a private news channel.

Read: Zimbabwe series more than just cricket for Pakistan

The attack took place about 1.5 kilometres from the venue at “the outer security cordon of the stadium”, Rashid said, adding that it did not affect the match.

However, the incident did not affect the tour, according to a PCB spokesperson.

“The incident has not affected the tour, Zimbabwe’s tour will continue,” the PCB spokesperson said.

“Their players have gone shopping today.”

Zimbabwe’s team management was given a detailed briefing on the incident, the spokesperson said.

“They are satisfied with the arrangements, so the tour will continue,” he said.

The visitors were holding an internal meeting Saturday afternoon and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Security has been ratcheted up for the series with around 4,000 policemen guarding the stadium itself, and a further 2,000 along the route from the Zimbabwe team hotel to the venue.

The series, comprised of two Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals, is the first since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team left eight people dead.

After winning both Twenty20 matches, Pakistan also clinched the one-day series by chasing down a target of 269 in 47.2 overs in Friday’s meet.

The third and final one-day is to be played at the same venue on Sunday.

Read: We experienced isolation, won’t let it happen to Pakistan: Zimbabwe manager

Despite Rashid’s comments, Lahore police insisted on Saturday that the incident was an “accidental blast” caused by an auto rickshaw’s gas cylinder exploding.

“It was a gas cylinder explosion and not a terrorist act,” a police spokesperson told AFP. He said one policeman and the rickshaw driver died.

Police had earlier said the blast was a transformer explosion.

The news was blacked out in Pakistani media until the conclusion of the match in order to prevent panic, a decision Rashid praised in his remarks.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Spock
    May 30, 2015 - 12:46PM

    Safe country for cricket indeed.

    Zim should take a flight to Dubai or a bus to Amritsar right away.Recommend

  • Zaid
    May 30, 2015 - 12:47PM

    yes, the helicopter which crashed last month was because of mechanical failure. Such aur pakistan is like sun rising in west direction.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    May 30, 2015 - 12:58PM

    Here we go again. Authorities tried to censor this terrorist act on cricket. I will not be surprised if the law enforcement will blame CIA, RAW, MOSSAD or KFC for this home grown incident.
    Zimbabwe are minnows and just like Pakistan are desperate to play cricket. No other countries were going to come to Islamic Republic of Pakistan to play cricket. Pakistan’s only hope is to ask Afghanistan to tour. They are just as desperate as IRP.
    RIP…Pakistan cricket.Recommend

  • Khurram S
    May 30, 2015 - 1:24PM

    i believe the police official version. Had it been a suicide attack people in the stadium must have felt it and there would be a great panic in the stadium. But anyways RIP rickshaw driver and police official in this sad accident. Recommend

  • Hassan
    May 30, 2015 - 1:49PM

    I have literally lost the count when our beloved information minister has made a fool out of himself.

    Even police have more intelligence than this clown ! Recommend

  • chutadpaki
    May 30, 2015 - 2:06PM

    kitna bhi chupaooo….sach samne hain………Recommend

  • Imtiaz
    May 30, 2015 - 2:28PM

    Those lame Nooras will do anything to make India happy..Recommend

  • john
    May 30, 2015 - 2:49PM

    if the islam is against music,dance and sports!!! better do not enjoy these. but, let other non muslims to live there life in peace. it is simple. Recommend

  • Dan
    May 30, 2015 - 3:07PM

    Still touring Pakistan is not safe for other teams. The PCB authority tried to cover up by saying that it was a transformer blast. Alas but not true. Recommend

  • Iqbal
    May 30, 2015 - 3:08PM

    Not a single comment here. There must be heavy censorship.Recommend

  • Omar Sadiq
    May 30, 2015 - 3:11PM

    Is this a sort of news that the Information Minister should be releasing?? The incompetent govt should take Pervaiz Rashid to task about making these irresponsible statements at such a critical time. Whose motive is he trying to achieve?? Raw, to stop cricket in Pakistan. Shameless creature!!Recommend

  • Bilour
    May 30, 2015 - 3:14PM

    I hope Zimbabwe pull out now. They must not make the same mistake BB did. First attempt failed but next attempt may succeed. Don’t risk it and pull out.Recommend

  • Raju Indian
    May 30, 2015 - 3:19PM

    Is cricket really worth the life of an innocent policeman? Sadly Pakistan is not safe even for Pakistanis – how can it be for outsiders who are visible targetsRecommend

  • shahid
    May 30, 2015 - 4:16PM

    At times it seems that Pervaiz Rasheed is Indian info minister instead of Paksitan’s. He certainly needs to see some doctor asap.Recommend

  • Amjad Iqbal
    May 30, 2015 - 5:19PM

    lollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
    They must.I agree.
    I guess that next time butchers will come in a very hard way.
    Have any one seen any Minister of Pakistan walking in market,buying like ordinary humans,open places picnic celebrations?
    BIG NO.
    When they are not safe , No one ever is safe.
    Let the Nawaz Sharif walk by foot for only a kilometer in his own city Lahore,you will hear the big news on BBC and CNN.That’s itRecommend

  • Harish
    May 30, 2015 - 6:54PM

    What surprises me is that Pakistan today have places to go shopping, remarkable achievement.Recommend

  • Blithe
    May 30, 2015 - 8:17PM

    @Harish:
    I’m not surprised at the Indian trolls on this website .Recommend

  • Blithe
    May 30, 2015 - 8:18PM

    @Imtiaz:
    Think before you speak – or are you also born with a foot Inthe mouth , like your IK Recommend

  • M
    May 30, 2015 - 8:23PM

    I bet this comment wont be posted but it makes me sick by seeing all the comments above by Indians who have nothing better to do then speak rubbish when two innocent people have lost their lives. Pakistan is the frontline country fighting terrorism. Over 65,000 of our people have been killed by TTP terrorists, and everyone knows very well which foreign agencies and which country in particular support, train and fund them. RIP innocent victims.Recommend

  • umesh
    May 30, 2015 - 9:13PM

    will you still call Indians as cowards for not playing cricket in Pakistan ?You are expecting us be cannon fodder to the idiot terrorists?Recommend

  • May 30, 2015 - 9:23PM

    Alas so called msliim olmas are most responsible and related politicians…dirt log trying to creat dirty cultureRecommend

  • Israr
    May 30, 2015 - 10:03PM

    @Harish: What you will find even more remarkable is the fact you wouldn’t find anyone sleeping hungry on the footpaths outside these shopping places. Hard to believe for Indians but, yes, there are places in this world where people don’t sleep on footpaths and where every other person is not malnourished.Recommend

  • goldconsumer
    May 31, 2015 - 1:16AM

    @Harish:
    Boo..
    Pigeon on your balcony..Recommend

  • May 31, 2015 - 3:07AM

    It shows Raheel Sharif is not worth it’s salt.Recommend

  • Gp65
    May 31, 2015 - 10:50PM

    @Israr:

    Hunger in India is reducing but not in Pakistan. In the last report by WHO, Pakistan was worse on hunger than India. India’s situation is nothing to be complacent about but it is getting better unlike Pakistan.

    @M:
    Pakistan is only fighting Pakistani insurgents just like any other country fighting insurgents. It is NOT a frontline state fighting terrorism globally.Quite to the contrary it provides safe haven to terrorist groups that attack Afghanistan and Iran and with India, it officially funds terror groups like LeT.Recommend

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