Posts Tagged ‘bomb blast’

Scenes of death and destruction at Lower Mall

Scene of the Suicide Bomb Blast at Recue 15 Station - Photo by Saad Sarfraz Sheikh at Demotix

Scene of the Suicide Bomb Blast at Rescue 15 Station - Photo by Saad Sarfraz Sheikh at Demotix

It was not unexpected after the Government launched an all-out military action against the militants in SWAT that they will hit back harder this time. Again, the phenomenon of suicide bombings is not new; we have now been going through this for the last two years while losing thousands of innocent people and a former Prime Minister. What’s new is the scale and sophistication of these blasts.

Policemen posted at Rescue 15 station in front of the CCPO Office on Fatima Jinnah Road became victims to this reality when a Toyota Hiace screeched past security barriers and unleashed destruction on their glistening new office building. Six masked men are reported to have opened fire indiscriminately followed by a horrific explosion believed to be a suicide one. So far 30 people including 10 policemen have died with about 200 more reported injured. The police authorities have arrested some four suspects out of which two did not even look like one on TV (I mean which terrorist is civilized enough to carry an handkerchief and smile at the cameras).

There is no doubt about the fact that terrorism is Pakistan’s own problem but equally true is the fact that local elements are getting strong support from external forces. We were facing the challenge which was already unbearable and then our Government started a military campaign in populated areas of SWAT. Why was it difficult for our Government to understand the scale of humanitarian crisis resulting from such a major offensive? Today we have forced 2.7 million civilians to flee their homes, abandon their crops, cattle and belongings only to face rejection and nonacceptance by political and societal forces in their own country.

Today’s incident on Lower Mall should be attributed to the mistakes of our past. But the way we are dealing with the crisis in Swat and resulting displacement in millions, we are only brewing ground for a darker and more insecure future.

More Photos of the incident by Saad Sarfraz Sheikh

Blast in Lahore

ARY News

ARY News

The Lahore CCPO’s office and the Rescue 15 center were targeted–both show signs of severe destruction.  The Rescue 15 building is located on Fatima Jinnah Road–formerly known as Queens Road. The Police have said that 25 people were inside the building when the blast occured.

As is the case in such scenarios, there are conflicting counts for those injured or killed in this incident.  Geo TV’s website reports 10 killed and 83 injured.  However, according to Edhi’s services, 30 people have been killed so far.   According to the DCO Lahore, 23 people have died due to the blast.

TV news reports say 3 security personnel are among the dead.  Watching Express 24/7, they say 120 to 130 people have been injured but that the numbers come from two main hospitals serving the victims right now, which includes Ganga Ram Hospital.  The casualties are expected to rise.

Emergency crews are continuing to pull people out of the rubble–and aerial surveillance is also underway at the site. Markets in the surrounding areas have been closed down.

Those in Lahore have been requested to donate blood.  Contact 042-756-8724 or 8725 to find out more about the donation process.

Two suspects arrested by the police

Two suspects arrested by the police

According to DCO Lahore Sajjad Bhutta, this was a suicide car bombing. 2 suspects have been arrested by the local police. Eyewitness reports also confirm the incident as a car bombing.

Earlier this morning, I turned on the TV–when the news came of this blast in Lahore.  At the time, 150 people were reported injured–and children are trapped inside St. Anthony’s school near the Mall.  Now it is reported the students have been sent home with their family members.

It is reported that 35 adjacent buildings have been damaged by the intensity of the blast. Also, that the explosion created a crater 20 feet deep at the site.

I also heard that the windows for Quaid-e-Azam library have been shattered. Friends on Facebook who work near the area also reported shattered windows, falling ceilings.

Blast Site

Blast Site

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Razas Gilani have both condemned the attack.

We here at Lahore Metblogs will keep updating this–as more information comes in.

Do pray for those affected by this tragic incident.

Some news sources for those interested: 

Bomb blast in Islamabad (another…), a Pakistani speaks about his (live) experience

Ali Trimzy, who is moving back to his beloved country Pakistan from US after staying there for more or less 10 years, writes:Today my belief in Allah’s power and what we call Qismat was re-enforced.

One of the things I learned while in overseas (is to stop when a traffic police man tells me to stop), literally saved my life.

I was on the other side of the road trying to make a U-turn when the suicide bomber hit the policemen in Melody chowk today. If I had not stopped because a traffic policeman signaled me to stop and told me that I cant make a U-turn, I would literally have been less than 5 feet from the suicide bomber. Luckily I stopped and being on the other side of the double road it placed a distance of around 20 feet between my car and the bomber.

Somehow I was lucky enough to only have minor cuts and bruises while some really sharp pieces of metal landed inside my car and completely missed me.It was one of the most un-nerving experience of my life since Ojri Camp and also one of the saddest. I would really hope such events would stop in our country and as I fail to see what they achieve except for killing many innocent.

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