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Lahore explosion


A powerful explosion occurred near the residence of Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed here on Wednesday killed three people and injured 24 others, including a police constable. Six-year-old Abdul Haq, his father Abdul Malik, 50, and a young passerby died in the explosion that left a four-foot-deep and eight-foot-wide crater on the road and damaged several houses and shops nearby. Approximately 15 to 20 kilograms of explosives had been planted in a car that was stolen from Gujranwala and parked near the residence of Hafiz Saeed in Board of Revenue Housing Society, Johar Town.
His residence remained safe, but many other houses and shops coming in 100 square feet radius of the blast site were damaged. Law enforcement agencies were on the lookout for the suspect who left the explosives-laden car at the blast spot and disappeared. Law enforcement agencies rushed to the site within no time and stationed large police personnel in and around the residence of the JuD chief. Teams of Rescue 1122, Bomb Disposal Squad, forensic and police experts and Counter-Terrorism Department officials launched a rescue operation at the site. Further the heavy police deployment, extensive patrolling was ordered in the vicinity and several pickets were established to surround the area. The blast was so powerful that the residents in the street rushed for shelter, while those indoors locked themselves up fearing an armed terrorist attack. Jinnah Hospital’s Medical Superintendent said that six of the injured people brought to the hospital were in serious condition, including a police constable. Three critically injured people, including a minor boy and his father, had died.
Residents of the Board of Revenue Society and passers-by from the area in Johar Town hit by an explosion on Wednesday expressed alarm about wastage of important evidence at the spot and the security arrangements made by the police. The witnesses raised questions about evidence collection by the investigation agencies. A local resident pointed out that a lot of rubbishes had flown to nearby streets after the explosion. It had also fallen on rooftops and terraces of nearby houses. He claimed that children were seen wandering in front of police officials while carrying up to three feet long pieces of metal from the car that was used for the explosion. He complained that the investigators did not try to take into their custody such pieces of evidence. A resident stated every piece of evidence was case property and it was a standard practice to take lot of care in collecting them. The evidence helps the investigators tackle the case and the prosecutors in pursuing it. Another resident of the housing society questioned the level of security and checking in the province. He stated it had been reported that the car that was used in the blast was carrying above 20kg of explosives.
A vehicle had reached a dangerous place in a residential area that had been declared a sub-jail to detain a leader of a banned organization. He mentioned that the area must be under watch of vigilance agencies. The incident appeared to be a defeat of intelligence officials. He said police set up pickets at a large number of spots in the city to check citizens but only the poor motorcyclists appeared to be their target. The Capital City Police Officer said that security arrangements across Punjab had been increased. More damage could not be done in the attack because of the presence of a security checkpoint in the street. The senior officers also visited the hospital to enquire after the health of the injured police personnel and citizens. There was guess that the blast may have been intended to target the home of Hafiz Saeed, the chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Hafiz Saeed is in prison, as most people know. The police say the blast was intended particularly to target policemen at the checkpoint. Houses around the area as well as passers-by were affected. The checkpoint not been there, greater destruction may have been on houses in the area. Ball bearings included in explosives caused many of the injuries.
The Lahore blast was truly well planned in advance. Attacks on civilians are disturbing, and show the extent to which militants whether working on their own or at the support of any other forces are willing to go. It is almost impossible to ask the police to maintain a higher alert. If militant attacks are to be stopped, it cannot be through purely defensive measures at the scene of the attack. Checkposts, bomb detectors and the like may slow determined terrorists, but cannot stop them. The work needs to be done before the attacks take place, with good supervision giving the opportunity to stop the attacks.
To prevent new militant menace from rising up, Counterterrorism action was meant to be thorough in dealing with both the safety places of militants and the ideology of their friends. The border areas particularly those in Balochistan where both armed personnel as well as civilians are being targeted with increasing frequencies. India is now seeking to expand its reach in its wicked activities to bring chaos in the country through its terrorist activities. Law-enforcement machinery is already expected to be aware of the growing security challenge in the face of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, there is need for all specific authorities to sit together to review their coordination mechanism and devise a thorough response strategy. Intelligence gathering should be broadened, in particular. For its part, the government needs to facilitate the security forces as regards strengthening their armed forces.