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Lahore blast death toll soars to 74

Updated March 30, 2016
Rescuers use a stretcher to shift a body from a bomb blast site in Lahore.─AFP/File
Rescuers use a stretcher to shift a body from a bomb blast site in Lahore.─AFP/File

LAHORE: The death toll of Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park suicide blast rose to 74 on Tuesday after two more injured persons succumbed to their injuries.

Anas Ayub, 17, of Hafizabad and Moshin, 18, of Defence area were admitted to a hospital after suffering critical injuries in Sunday’s suicide blast. Both teenagers succumbed to their injuries after two days of the incident and their dead bodies were handed over to their families after completing legal formalities.

On Tuesday, the park remained closed for the public and the investigation team visited the crime scene for geo-tagging and also drew sketches.

Keeping in view the situation after Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park carnage, the city police held a meeting at the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) office late on Monday night to review the security arrangements of public and sensitive places.

The CCPO ordered all the divisional superintendents of police (SPs) to document vulnerable places and issue reminders to the administrations for implementation of security SOPs. He directed the officers to improve security plan for important installations, buildings and public places such as parks, theatres, cinema houses, bus stands and the railway station.

He ordered the SPs to carry out search operations in their respective areas and also directed to appoint Quick Response Force near sensitive installations for immediate response in case of any type of emergency.

Candlelit vigils: Three candlelit vigils were held near Simla Pahari on Tuesday evening to express solidarity with the victims of the Gulshan-i-Iqbal park tragedy.

Representatives of the All-Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), activists of the Child Rights Movement and women wing of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek raised slogans condemning the terrorist attack and urged the political and religious forces in the country to join hands for the elimination of terrorism from the country.

They were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans like ‘We want peace’, ‘Say no to terrorism’, ‘Life is precious, don’t kill the innocent’ and ‘When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty.’ APMA’s Chaudhry Bashiruddin said no words could express the ignominy of such an attack against women and children. He demanded that all terrorists should be hanged. “Each and every member of minority stands with the armed forces,” he said.

Later, the protesters lit candles to express solidarity with the victims.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2016