Date
20 September 2017
Relatives gather beside the covered bodies of victims after a suicide bomb attack in Wagah border near Lahore, Pakistan. At least 45 people were killed. Photo: Reuters
Relatives gather beside the covered bodies of victims after a suicide bomb attack in Wagah border near Lahore, Pakistan. At least 45 people were killed. Photo: Reuters

Death toll rises to 45 in Pakistan Taliban suicide bombing

The death toll in Sunday’s suicide bombing on the Pakistani-Indian border has risen to 45, with the Pakistani Taliban claiming responsibility for the carnage.

More than 70 were wounded, Reuters reported.

A bomber blew himself up in a car park just after a just after a daily ceremony when troops from both sides simultaneously lower the two nations’ flags.

The Pakistani Taliban said the attack was a response to the Pakistani army’s actions against their positions in tribal areas straddling Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

The bombing took place at least 500 meters from the border with India. No Indian troops were hurt in the attack.

“I was sitting in my office near the border when I heard the blast. I rushed to the scene and saw scattered bodies, injured men, women and children and smashed cars,” a Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters.

Pakistani police said they were investigating the attack. The death toll was confirmed by the provincial police chief in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Hundreds of people visit the Wagah border crossing near the Pakistani city of Lahore every day to witness the flags of both countries being lowered just before sunset.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars and remain locked in a bitter conflict over the region of Kashmir, which both sides claim.

India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring jihadist groups in the region and encouraging them to make inroads into Indian territory to stage attacks against Indian forces, a charge Pakistan denies.

But the Taliban claim of responsibility suggested the suicide bombing had nothing to do with India, the report said.

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RA

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