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Nine perish, 23 wounded in Lahore suicide attack.

Byline: PAN Monitor

Nine perish, 23 wounded in Lahore suicide attack

PAN Monitor - Aug 14, 2008 - 09:44

KABUL (PAN): On the eve of Pakistan's 61st Independence Day, a suicide bomber killed nine people, including two policemen, and injured nearly two dozen others in the eastern city of Lahore, capital of the Punjab province.

A dozen policemen were among those injured as the suicide bomber blew himself up near a police station late Wednesday, media reports said on Thursday. It was a huge blast, shaking passers-by, motorists, customers -- and littering the place with human flesh, Dawn reported.

The suicide bomber was a pedestrian who apparently targeted policemen performing duty at a busy city square, a senior police officer told the influential daily. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmed said: The bombers face and legs are intact and he has a beard and appears to be in his 20s.

The powerful explosion shattered windowpanes of several vehicles, an adjacent mosque, nearby buildings and scattered human flesh hundreds of feet away. The bomber struck as citizens poured into the streets before midnight to celebrate the 61st anniversary of Pakistans independence.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced a compensation of Rs1 million each for the families of the martyred policemen and Rs300,000 each for those of the civilians, a private TV channel reported.

Following the late-night blast, police blocked all roads around the crime scene and boosted deployment across the area, screening suspicious vehicles at entry points. Intelligence officials linked the assault to an ongoing military operation against miscreants in the volatile tribal belt.

Swat-base militants earlier warned people to stay away from Independence Day celebrations. Taliban spokesman Haji Muslim Khan told a TV channel those who had destroyed Talibans houses would see their own houses destroyed.

PAN monitor/mud

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Date:Aug 14, 2008
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