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Pakistan blasts death toll hits 30

09-02-2010 08:32 BJT

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The death toll in a terrorist attack in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore has risen to 30, with more than 200 others injured. The government in Punjab province has declared three days of mourning for the victims.

Three bombs exploded at three separate sites Wednesday evening, as 35,000 Shiites marched through the streets of Lahore in a traditional religious procession. An extremist group- called Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The explosions appeared to be the latest in a string of attacks by Sunni extremists against the minority Shiites.

Ali Shah, Eyewitness, said, "First attack took place over there. We thought it was an electric short circuit. The second blast was because of a suicide attack. After that we told people to come down."

The third, also a suicide bombing, caused the heaviest number of casualties of those marching in the procession.

Following the three blasts, all local hospitals in the city declared an emergency.

Angry people who lost their loved ones in the blasts launched a protest, torching police stations and setting vehicles on fire.

A special task force of the Pakistani army, has been deployed to control the situation.

Meanwhile, all public and private institutions across the Punjab province will be closed during the three days of mourning.

Some of the injured have been taken to hospital where desperate relatives waited for information.

Some mourned their losses, bursting into tears.

Mjumber Hussain, Victim's Father, said, "I lost my three kids, I lost everything, my three sons were martyred."

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the deadly blasts and vowed to bring the attackers to justice.


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