15 killed, 80 injured in suicide attacks in Lahore, Karachi
Suicide bombers carried out attacks targeting Shia Muslims in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Karachi on Tuesday, killing 15 people and injuring nearly 80 others in the latest series of terrorist strikes against religious minorities in the country.
In the first attack in the eastern city of Lahore, a teenage suicide bomber today blew himself up when he was challenged by policemen guarding a Shia procession.
The attack occurred at Lahori Gate near Karbala Gamay Shah, a Shia 'imambargah' or prayer hall.
Lahore Police chief Aslam Tareen said the bomber, who was 14 or 15-year-old, detonated his explosive vest when he was stopped for checking.
Besides the vest, the bomber was carrying explosives in a bag, he said.
The face of the bomber, minus the skull, had been found by police, he said.
"The attacker detonated his explosive vest at the first layer of security, where policemen were checking people (joining the procession),” Superintendent of Police (Security) Faisal Rana told reporters.
Thirteen people, including a woman and four policemen, were among the dead. Over 70 people were injured.
Zahid Pervez, the medical superintendent of Mayo Hospital, described the condition of 10 of the injured as critical.
The second bomber struck a short while later, targeting a police van in the Malir area of Karachi.
Two policemen were killed and five others, including three policemen, injured in the attack.
The attacker, who was on a motorcycle, rammed into the police van shortly after two buses carrying Shia Muslims returning from a procession had passed the area.
Police officials said the bomber struck after the van prevented him from hitting one of the buses.
Officials told the media they had found the head of the bomber and sent it for DNA and forensic tests.
In Lahore, police chief Aslam Tareen said authorities had received alerts of possible attacks on Shia processions.
He said the multi-layered security arrangement put in place by police had prevented the bomber from reaching the procession.
Search and sweep operations were being conducted in the city to trace terror suspects, he said.
State-run Rescue 1122 spokesman Fahim Jehanzeb told PTI that the blast in Lahore occurred minutes before the Shia procession reached the spot.
A suspect was arrested from the site of the blast, other officials said.
The man charged with killing seven people at an Independence Day parade confessed to police that he unleashed a hail of bullets from a rooftop in suburban Chicago and then fled to the Madison, Wisconsin, area, where he contemplated shooting up an event there, authorities said Wednesday. The parade shooting left another American community reeling — this time affluent Highland Park, home to about 30,000 people near the Lake Michigan shore.
On the first anniversary of the death of Father Stan Swamy, the Jesuit priest accused in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case who died in custody, a United States (US) Congressman has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives commemorating Swamy's life and demanding that the Government of India set up an independent investigation into his “arrest, incarceration and death”. India has, in the past, rejected international criticism around Swamy's arrest.
Amid a string of resignations, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday told a parliamentary committee that he was not going to resign, and that an election is 'the last thing the country needs'. Senior ministers of Johnson's government were reportedly geared up to ask Johnson to quit as prime minister, British media said, over the latest developments. Were Johnson to go, the process to replace him may take a couple of months.
China on Wednesday said it hopes India would conduct investigations into the Chinese smartphone company Vivo according to law and provide a “fair” and “non-discriminatory” business environment for Chinese firms. China is closely following developments related to the raids on the offices of Vivo in India, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said on Wednesday when asked about the case.
A Brazilian model who had joined the Ukrainian army and trained as a sniper to help fight against invading Russian forces has been killed in combat, according to media reports. Thalita also took part in humanitarian missions and fought the Islamic State in Iraq, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Ex-Brazilian soldier Douglas Burigo, 40, who returned to find Thalita was the only soldier left after the first strike took place, British publication Daily Mail claimed.