Families mourn victims of Pakistan-India border bloodshed

November 3, 2014 | By | Reply More

Nov 03, – Pakistanis mourned on Monday for the victims of a massive suicide bombing near the border with India as the death toll from the explosion the previous day rose to 60, police said.

hromedia Families mourn victims of Pakistan-India border bloodshed intl. news2The attack, for which a Taliban splinter faction claimed responsibility, was the deadliest to hit the country in over a year.

Pakistan has seen a lull of sorts since mid-June, when the military launched a major offensive against militants in North Waziristan, a restive tribal area in the northwest, bordering Afghanistan. The army says its offensive has killed over 1,200 insurgents.

In Sunday’s attack, the bomber detonated his explosives near a paramilitary checkpoint close to the Wagah border crossing with India, as hundreds of Pakistanis were returning from watching a military parade on the outskirts of Lahore.

Archrivals Pakistan and India hold daily parades and flag-flying ceremonies on their respective sides of the border, drawing thousands of spectators. The parades are meant to be a show of strength between the foes — the two nuclear-power nations have fought three wars since they gained independence in 1947.

The Pakistani Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in revenge for the army’s operations in North Waziristan and the killing of their fellow militants there. Ahrar broke off from the Taliban in August, after several commanders had a falling out with the rest of the Taliban leadership.

“We will continue such attacks,” the group’s spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, told The Associated Press. He spoke over the phone from an undisclosed location.

Sunday’s attack also wounded more than 100 people, who were still hospitalized, said police official Nadeem Khokhar. Relatives of those killed cried and wailed outside Lahore hospitals and police stations on Monday, demanding the bodies of the victims be handed over to their families them for burial.

Pakistan went ahead with the daily parade near the Indian border on Monday, despite initially announcing the event would be cancelled for the next three days.

“Such cowardly attacks cannot defeat us and our nation,” army Gen. Naveed Zaman said during Monday’s ceremony near the Wagah crossing. He thanked “thousands who have come here to defy the terrorists’ designs.”

Sunday’s attack also wounded more than 200 people, who were still hospitalized, said police official Nadeem Khokhar. Relatives of those killed cried and wailed outside Lahore hospitals and police stations on Monday, demanding the bodies of the victims be handed over to their families them for burial.

Pakistan went ahead with the daily parade near the Indian border on Monday, despite initially announcing the event would be cancelled for the next three days.

“Such cowardly attacks cannot defeat us and our nation,” army Gen. Naveed Zaman said during Monday’s ceremony near the Wagah crossing. He thanked “thousands who have come here to defy the terrorists’ designs.”

Press journalist for HRO media – Saurav Nag reports.

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Category: International

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