Pakistan investigates Lahore blasts

Police pursuing al-Qaeda angle in the wake of suicide attacks that claimed 24 lives.

    A truck is said to have run over a guard just before the blast at the FIA building in Lahore [AFP]

    The blasts happened about 15 minutes apart, and in different districts of Lahore.

    The first tore the facade of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) office, a seven-storey building.

    While al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Iraq have regularly used vehicles to launch massive attacks on buildings, such damage has rarely been inflicted on a government building in Pakistan.

    Responsibility
     
    Azhar Hasan Nadeem, the provincial police chief, said it was not yet clear if al-Qaeda was involved in the attack.

    "Of course they have a huge organisation, and they have a very vast network, but it would be premature to pinpoint exactly as to which particular organisation is responsible," he said.

    In Lahore, Malik Mohammed Iqbal, a police chief, said that an explosives-laden vehicle managed to penetrate security, drive into a parking lot and detonate close to the FIA building.
     
    Anti-terror unit
     
    The building houses part of the federal police's anti-terrorism unit - destroying offices on the lower floors and blowing out the walls around a stairwell.

    Footage from a surveillance camera shown on private television showed a small truck running over a guard and speeding through the gate seconds before the blast.
     
    The spike in violence across the country has prompted a number of Pakistanis to question Musharraf's approach to countering al-Qaida and the Taliban.
     
    Musharraf's opponents say punitive military action has only fuelled the violence.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.