Army chief reviews operation in Punjab after deadly Lahore bombing

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Monday, 28 March 2016

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif chaired a high-level security meeting at the GHQ on Monday to review the progress of an operation in Punjab province to find and arrest terrorists behind a deadly suicide bombing which claimed more than 70 lives.

More than 300 people were injured in the attack on Sunday evening in the busy Gulshan-i-Iqbal park in Lahore which killed mostly women and children enjoying an Easter weekend outing.

According to a press statement by DG ISPR Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, intelligence agencies with Army and Rangers have carried out five operations in Lahore, Faisalabad, and Multan since the attack in the busy Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park in Lahore.

"Operations continue with more leads coming in," said the military spokesman.

A "number of suspected terrorists and facilitators (have been) arrested and a huge cache of arms and ammunition" have been recovered, he said.

Sunday's terrorist attack was the deadliest in since the December 2014 massacre of 134 school children at Army Public School in the city of Peshawar that prompted a military-led crackdown on militancy and terrorism.

"We must bring the killers of our innocent brothers, sisters and children to justice and will never allow these savage inhumans to over-run our life and liberty," military spokesman Asim Bajwa had quoted the Army chief as saying in an earlier post on Twitter.

On Sunday, Gen Raheel Sharif directed concerned commanders and intelligence agencies to kick off the operation in Punjab to bring the perpetrators of the deadly Lahore suicide attack to justice.

A military statement said the decision was taken at a high-level military meeting headed by the Army chief, and also attended by DG Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and DG Military Intelligence (MI).

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's office condemned the blast as a cowardly act and said a response had been ordered, without elaborating.

Lahore is the capital of Punjab province and is seen as the country's political and cultural heartland. Markets, schools and courts in the city were closed on Monday as the city mourned.

The Punjab government has announced three days of mourning. The provincial governments of Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are also observing a day of mourning today.

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