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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Death toll from Pakistan's shrine attacks reaches 43

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 2, IRNA -- Death toll from suicide attacks in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Thursday night, has reached 43 as more died in hospitals of wounds, health officials said on Friday.

A total of 175 people were injured in the attacks, several of them in critical condition, Commissioner Khusro Pervez told reporters at the site.

Health officials appealed for blood donations for the injured.

Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, and scene of deadliest attacks in recent weeks, is in state of shock and traders have declared two-day mourning.

Two bombers struck shrine ?Datta Darbar’ late Thursday night when thousands of people gathered to pay homage to the famous saint of South Asia, the Commissioner said.

A cracker was also exploded after two suicide attacks in a five-minute time, witnesses said.

The attacks have widely been condemned by religious and political leaders and said that those behind the attacks are not human beings.

Religious groups have convened emergency meeting in Lahore later Friday to chalk out protest plan against the growing terrorist attacks.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts. Pakistani Taliban had however claimed responsibility for recent series of bomb attacks in Lahore.

One bomber blew himself up at the basement of the shrine and another at the lawn of the mosque, witnesses said. A bomb exploded at the main gate of the shrine, witnesses said.

Funeral for some of the victims will be held later Friday and police said that 23 dead have been identified and bodies handed over to the relatives.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced cash money for the relatives of those killed and injured, officials said.

Police and intelligence agencies have launched investigation into the attacks.

The shrine attack has raised questions about the security measures as the bombers sneaked into the shrine despite walkthrough gates and security arrangement.

Local TV channels reported that the special police intelligence section had warned the government of possible attack on shrines in Lahore.


End News / IRNA / News Code 1207396

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