LAHORE: National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) had already warned the provincial authorities of possible terrorist attack in Lahore.
According to a notice sent to Home Secretary Punjab, Provincial Police Officer and DG Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) on February 7, The National Counterterrorism Authority (NACTA) had warned of a possible terrorist attack in Lahore. NACTA had directed that all vital installations, including important buildings, hospitals and schools, be kept under strict vigilance. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that maximum preparations were made after the threat alert was received. The spot where the blast took place is always under threat. Even if there was no alert, strict security measures are always taken in the area. Extreme vigilance and heightened security measures are suggested to avoid any untoward incident,”the notification added.
Today, a powerful bomb went off outside Punjab Assembly in Lahore, killing several people, including senior police officials, and leaving scores of others injured. The death toll is feared to go up as some of those injured are in critical condition.
DIG Traffic Police Captain Ahmed Mubeen and DIG Operations Zahid Ikram Gondal have been killed in the attack. Among the injured are several policemen, women and media persons. A sit-in was being staged by Punjab Medical Stores Association and Chemist and Druggist Association near Faisal Chowk, Mall Road when the blast occurred. The two police officials were negotiating with protestors to end the sit-in and open the road for traffic. Many vehicles parked near the blast site caught fire, triggering panic and chaos in the area. A DSNG of Aaj TV was badly damaged following the blast, injuring their cameraman and driver.