4 killed in car bomb attack short distance from Hafiz Saeed’s house in Lahore | World News - Hindustan Times
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4 killed in car bomb attack short distance from Hafiz Saeed’s house in Lahore

Jun 23, 2021 06:59 PM IST

Saeed has for long had a residence in Johar Town. However, he is currently in jail after he was arrested and convicted last year in a string of terror financing cases. Last November, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of terror financing.

Four people were killed and some 20 others, including policemen and children, injured when a car bomb went off a short distance from Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed’s home in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Wednesday.

Members of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) survey the site after a deadly blast in a residential area in Lahore, Pakistan on Wednesday. (REUTERS PHOTO.)
Members of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) survey the site after a deadly blast in a residential area in Lahore, Pakistan on Wednesday. (REUTERS PHOTO.)

Among the injured were several policemen manning a checkpoint near the house of Saeed, currently serving a sentence in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail after his conviction for involvement in terror financing.

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The site of the blast was near Saeed’s residence at BOR Society in Johar Town neighbourhood. A building was severely damaged by the intense explosion, which blew out the windows of nearby structures and hit several cars. The windows and walls of Saeed’s house too were damaged.

“As far as the question of the house of a high-value target is concerned, you would have seen there is a [police] picket near the house, and the car couldn’t get close to that house only because of the picket,” Punjab province’s police chief Inam Ghani told reporters at the site of the attack when he was asked if the blast was in any way aimed at Saeed’s house.

“If there was no picket, the car could have gone anywhere. You should appreciate that they couldn’t get to any target because of the presence of the police. Our view is that the target was the police and they wanted to undermine law enforcement agencies,” he added.

Ghani said there could have been a “major loss” if there had been no police post near Saeed’s house.

There was no claim of responsibility for the blast and Ghani said officers were trying to ascertain whether the car bomb was triggered by a suicide attacker or detonated remotely.

Ghani confirmed three deaths, and a police spokesman subsequently said a four-year-old child had succumbed to his wounds. Some of the injured, including children, were in critical condition, a spokesman for Jinnah Hospital said. Officials said many of the injured were hit by ball bearings packed into the bomb.

Fahim Ahmad, a witness, told reporters that a car parked close to a house had exploded, setting ablaze other cars and motorcycles. Images and footage aired by TV news channels showed badly damaged vehicles and homes, including one building whose walls had collapsed. Additional police forces and bomb disposal teams reached the site soon after the incident.

Saeed has for long had a residence in Johar Town. However, he is currently in jail after he was arrested and convicted last year in a string of terror financing cases. Last November, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of terror financing.

Saeed has been designated a terrorist by the UN and the US, which has offered a $10 million bounty for him. The Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people but Saeed was never charged in connection with the carnage.

Punjab province chief minister Usman Buzdar sought a report on the incident from the police chief. Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed also sought a report on the incident from Punjab’s chief secretary and police chief. He said in a tweet that federal agencies were assisting the Punjab government in the investigation.

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