A suicide bomb blast occurred near the Lahore High Court in
eastern Pakistan's Punjab province Thursday, leaving at least 22
dead and more than 50 others injured. It is the gravest suicide
attack in the year 2008 in Pakistan, a country threatened by
This photo shows the
location of Lahore in Pakistan. A suicide bomb blast occurred near
the Lahore High Court in eastern Pakistan's Punjab province
Thursday, leaving at least 22 dead and more than 50 others
The Lahore High Court Bar was holding a meeting and planning a
protest rally on the High Court Square with heavy deployment of
riot policemen on guard. A motorcyclist tried to enter the High
Court building, but was stopped by police. Suddenly the
motorcyclist blew himself up.
The rescue team rushed to the blast site and transferred the
victims, most of them policemen, to local hospitals. The Mall Road,
a main road of Lahore on which the High Court was located, was
blocked after the attack.
Speaking to Xinhua, Muhammad Naceed, a policeman who was
deployed near the Lahore High Court at the time of blast and
survived, said, "We were on duty, then there was the blast and many
people died. I saw human pieces flying up. After several minutes
the ambulances came."
Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema confirmed that at
least 20 people including five policemen died in the suicide blast.
The police were targeted in the attack, Cheema said, adding that
security has been put on high alert across the country after the
Muzammal Hussain, a doctor of the ICU of Mayo hospital which
received many injured people, told Xinhua that 25 people died and
62 others were injured.
walk amongst dead and injured colleagues at the site of a suicide
attack in Lahore Jan.10, 2008.
President Pervez Musharraf and caretaker prime minister Mohammad
mian Soomro strongly condemned the attack and ordered a thorough
investigation. Musharraf vowed to continue fight against terrorism
and extremism and not to be deterred by such acts.
This is a typical way a suicide attack story unfolds in
Pakistan. As usual, no group claimed responsibility and terrorists
and extremists are blamed for such attacks.
People in the capital of Islamabad on Thursday went out to the
streets and cheered for hailstones, which were rare in the city.
They turned a deaf ear to the sad news and no sign of grief
appeared on their faces. A cab driver told Xinhua that he had got
used to suicide attacks and reports of deaths in Pakistan.
The grief of people, who were broken-hearted about the
assassination of Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister and
chairperson of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), has still not
healed when the blast occurred in Lahore.
Bhutto was killed in gunshots and suicide blast in the garrison
city of Rawalpindi when she was going out of park where she
addressed an election rally on Dec. 27. The death of Bhutto has
brought terrorism under the spotlight in Pakistan.
Makhdoom Babar, president and editor-in-chief of a local
newspaper Daily Mail, told Xinhua that people barely heard of any
suicide attacks before Sept. 11 in 2001.
President Pervez Musharraf's choice to cooperate with the United
States to fight terrorism drew fires from some critics and some
militant groups in Pakistan.
Despite the government's pledge to uproot terrorism and
extremism, terrorism and extremism are rooted deeply in the
Some PPP supporters told Xinhua on Jan. 5 that the pro-Taliban
militants, who were accused of killing Bhutto, would never kill
innocent Pakistani people. It is not unusual that common people
have sympathy for pro-Taliban militants, who are alleged to impose
Islamic laws in some regions, especially the northwestern
Musharraf has repeatedly said that the threat of terrorism
should be dealt with multi-faceted measures including force,
economy and education.
There is no assurance that the tragedy in Lahore will not be
repeated in the future, and it is likely that the fight against
terrorism will be protracted.
Saima Sakhi, a human rights activist working for Punjab Aids
Consortium, told Xinhua that the forthcoming general elections,
which were slated for Feb. 18, were what counted in the country.
"We hope the new government can bring the country back on the right
track," she said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2008)