2 high-ranking cops among 13 killed, 86 injured in suicide blast

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APP84-13 LAHORE: February 13 - Security personnel collecting evidence from the blast spot near the Punjab Assembly at The Mall Road. APP photo by Rana Imran

LAHORE, Feb 13 (APP): Thirteen persons including two senior police officers were killed while 86 others sustained multiple injuries when a suicide attacker blew himself up at the Charing Cross, The Mall here on Monday.
According to Rescue 1122, a powerful explosion occurred during a protest by various pharmaceutical bodies including Homeopathic pharmaceutical and Chemist Association, Pakistan Chemist Association, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, Pakistan Chemist and Drug Association and others in front of the Punjab Assembly to press for their demands.
“Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Traffic Lahore Capt. (Retd) Syed Ahmed Mubin and SSP (Operations) Zahid Mehmood Gondal were returning from the scene after successful negotiations with the protesters when the suicide attacker appeared from behind a media van and detonated the explosive device at 6:10 pm,” said the IGP Punjab Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera.
As a result, DIG Capt. (Retd) Syed Ahmed Mubin, SSP Zahid Mehmood Gondal, Muhammad Aslam (Elite Force), Irfan Mehmood (Elite Force), Umer, Bilal Amjad, Mohsin Irshad and 6 others died in the incident.
The Rescue teams rushed to the site of the blast and shifted the injured to various hospitals including the Ganga Ram, Mayo, and Services.
The Punjab Government declared emergency in all hospitals of the provincial metropolis to provide best medical treatment to the injured. All the medical staff was called by the hospital administration to deal with the emergency.
The city hospitals’ administration also called for blood donations from the citizens.
Punjab Health Ministers Khawaja Salman Rafique, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Lord Mayor Lahore Mubashir Javaid and other government functionaries visited the hospitals to inquire after the injured.
Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told the media that the attack appeared to be a suicide attack, adding the blast occurred inside the high security zone.
The Minister said that 6 policemen were among the dead, adding that the tragic incident took place due to lapse in the implementation of security SoPs.
To a question, Rana Sanaullah said that fool-proof security would be provided to participants of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique said, emergency had been declared in the Ganga Ram Hospital while the Services Hospital and others have been alerted following the incident.
Soon after the incident, the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) personnel including Director General (DG) Rangers Punjab Azher Naveed Hayat and IGP Punjab Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera inspected the site of the blast.
Sukhera said Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) team was immediately deployed which preserved the crime scene and collected the evidence.
The Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) have also arrested 3 suspects from and around the crime scene.
Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, while condemning the incident, has sought a report from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab on the tragic incident.
The Punjab government has declared February 14 (Tuesday) as a Day of Mourning to express solidarity with the martyrs of the Charing Cross blast. Trade bodies of the city have also announced to keep their shutters down on February 14 in protest.