Blast targets security office in Pakistan's Lahore, 11 killed

16:33, March 08, 2010      

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A suicide bombing in the eastern Lahore city killed at least 11 people. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

A suicide bomber Monday rammed his explosive-packed vehicle into the office of a Pakistani' s investigation agency in the eastern Lahore city and killed at least 11 people, a senior official said.

Lahore Commissioner Khisro Pervez said that 61 people were injured in the deadliest attack on the office of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Doctors said that 13 injured were in critical condition.

Pervez said that death may rise as several people are believed to be under the debris of the two-storey building, which was completely destroyed.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. But suspected Taliban militants attacked the FIA building in Lahore in October 2009.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik blamed the militants for the Lahore attack and said they have moved to cities after facing defeat in tribal regions and Swat valley.

"Those who are killing innocent people are not Muslims, they are hired assassins," Malik told reporters in the capital of Islamabad. He said the militants will carry out such attacks also in the future as they are frustrated at their defeat.

The FIA had set up Special Investigation Agency for interrogating the suspects, official sources said.

Pervez told reporters at the attack site that preliminary investigation suggests that the bomber detonated his explosive- packed vehicle after he entered the building.

Experts of the Bomb Disposal Squad said that upto 800 kilograms were used in the blast.

The blast was so powerful that it badly damaged a building of a religious seminary and several houses.

Officials said that several employees of the FIA had been residing in the building. They said some 70 people were in the building when it was blown up.

Officials said that dozens of people were inside the FIA building when the bomb struck the office. The bomber struck the building at 8:15 a.m., when the office was not opened.

Ambulances rushed to the site and shifted the injured to several nearby hospitals. Locals also shifted the injured in private vehicles.

Rescue teams and the residents joined hands to pull the injured out of the rubble. Witnesses said that the blast created a 25-feet deep crater.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack and asked the authorities to hold investigation into the attack.

District Police Officer Sajjad Bhutta said that the authorities had taken security measures for the building but said that it is difficult for the police to stop suicide bombings.

Head of the nearby seminary said the residents had requested the government to shift the office from residential area but he complained that their request was not entertained.

Several schools, located in the area, were closed after the attack and parents rushed to schools to take their children.

Source: Xinhua
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