Friday, March 12, 2010
According to police, at least 45 people in Lahore, Pakistan were killed earlier on Friday after multiple suicide bombings. Over a hundred others were injured.
In the first incident, a double bombing apparently targeting military vehicles in RA Bazaar, a commercial and residential neighbourhood of Lahore, killed 45 people, among them ten troops. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah reported that the bombers arrived at the area by a motorbike and approached the vehicles, then detonated jackets containing 26 pounds of explosives, according to The Telegraph.
Chief of Punjab police Tariq Saleem Dogar said that “[t]wo suicide bombers attacked within the span of 15 to 20 seconds and they were on foot.”
A second attack, reportedly targeting a police station, is said to have killed at least four other people.
Senior Lahore police official Chaudhary Shaffiq Ahmed commented that “[t]he explosions occurred at a bus stop in RA Bazaar market. Two suicide attackers approached two patrolling army vehicles fifteen seconds apart causing the explosions.”
Some witnesses said they heard gunfire shortly before the explosions. “I saw smoke rising everywhere. A lot of people were crying,” recalled Afzal Awan, an eyewitness.
Local government blamed the Taleban for the bombings, although no group has, as of yet, claimed responsibility.