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5 armed forces personnel slain in Lahore blast targeting census team

Updated Apr 05, 2017 08:50pm


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Six people, including four Army soldiers and an off-duty Air Force airman, lost their lives after a suicide bomber targeted a census team in Lahore's Bedian Road area on Wednesday morning.

At least 19 others were injured in the attack, according to the provincial government.

The injured were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and General Hospital. At least three of the injured were said to be in critical condition. One, identified as Lance Naik Irshad, lost his life while undergoing treatment.

The proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed the attack.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in a statement said: "The soldiers and civil enumerators who embraced shahadat today [...] were on census duty [...] a national obligation. [This] is beyond any doubt a great sacrifice."

He added that "[The] census will be completed at any cost."

The explosion was the result of a suicide bomber blowing himself up near an army vehicle, an unnamed police official told Reuters.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, while speaking to Samaa, confirmed it as a terrorist incident.

"There was a threat alert, and in the last 10 days the threat alert in Lahore was repeated," he said, explaining that when an alert is issued repeatedly, it is considered "serious".

"But in the case of suicide attacks, unless the intelligence [agencies] have prior information, it is difficult to prevent them from happening," Sanaullah said.

A forensic team arrives at the scene of the suicide bomb attack.— AFP
A forensic team arrives at the scene of the suicide bomb attack.— AFP

Bedian Road, on most days, is a bustling route, used by many to commute to areas adjacent to DHA's upscale Phase 5 neighbourhood. Brimming with fruit vendors and push-carts, it is largely surrounded by farmland and farmhouses.

'The blast caused a lot of panic'

An eyewitness talking to DawnNews said the blast caused a lot of a panic in the area.

Eyewitness talks to DawnNews.

"When I heard the sound, I rushed out of my home on a bike. When I got here, I saw dead bodies.

He claimed that he had earlier alerted authorities "on the presence of dangerous people in my neighborhood".

"I recommended [police] to seal this entire area and conduct a search operation. However, nobody acted on my recommendations."

COAS pays tribute to slain soldiers

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa paid tribute to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the line of duty, according to an ISPR statement.

"Sacrifice of precious lives of civil enumerators and soldiers is beyond any doubt a great sacrifice," he said.

"These sacrifices will only strengthen our resolve and with the support of entire nation we will cleanse the menace of terrorism from our soil."

Corps Commander Lahore Lt Gen Mohammad Sadiq Ali visited the injured at CMH and said he was proud of the men who laid down their lives in the blast.

He also said the operation against terrorists will continue across the country.

PM expresses condolences

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his condolences on the loss of lives in the blast.

The premier paid tribute to the army personnel "who were targeted while performing their duties during the national census".

He directed the authorities concerned to extend all requisite assistance to the provincial government.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif "strongly condemned" the incident and directed authorities to submit a report regarding the blast.

Terror incidents in Punjab

The incident follows a string of terror episodes across the country and Punjab.

The Pakistan Army launched military operation Raddul Fasaad across the country days after a terror attack near the Punjab Assembly in Lahore left at least 13 people dead and 85 others injured.

Timeline of terror incidents in Punjab following Operation Raddul Fasaad:

Feb 13

At least 13 killed and 85 injured when a suicide bomber struck outside the Punjab Assembly on Lahore's Mall Road during a protest.

Feb 22

Pakistan Army launches 'Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad' across the country seeking to indiscriminately eliminate the "residual/latent threat of terrorism", consolidating the gains made in other military operations.

Feb 23

A powerful explosion in an under-construction building in Lahore's busy Defence Y Block Market left 10 people dead and more than 20 injured.

March 13

In a drive by-shooting incident near Lady Willingdon Hospital in Lahore, three personnel of Punjab CIA received injuries. The attackers successfully fled after the attack. All three victims were police officers posted at Ghaziabad CIA and were dressed in plain clothes. They were on their way home after performing their duty, police sources said.

March 19

In a joint search and intelligence based operation, 19 suspects were arrested in various parts of Punjab. According to the ISPR, the operation was conducted in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Attock, Sialkot, Kasur and Lahore, under Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.

March 22

The Airport Security Force (ASF) foiled a suspected terror bid at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport. Security personnel confiscated a cache of weapons and ammunition from a vehicle which had been stopped at the gates of the airport. The weapons were discovered during routine inspection. The ASF confiscated a .223 bore rifle, seven magazines, and dozens of bullets from the vehicle.

April 5

A suicide attack on census team on Bedian Road, Lahore claims the lives of five armed forces personnel and two civilians.


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Comments (108) Closed

Alexey Apr 05, 2017 10:07am

I hope it's just a cylinder.

Balaji Apr 05, 2017 10:12am

"Gas cylinder of a van exploded" yeah sure. Let's go with that.

NOMANSLAND Apr 05, 2017 10:15am

Is it only me who thinks that "cylinder blasts" are increasing day by day now ?!

Asif A Shah Apr 05, 2017 10:17am

Is it another case of gross negligence? My condolences to the families of those whose loved ones died and got injured.

Balaji Apr 05, 2017 10:20am

@Alexey It is just a cylinder. But it's probably blown up by some crooked workers the government nurtured to show how good of a worker they are.

OMAR Apr 05, 2017 10:25am

It might be a cylinder blast or terrorist attack. The gas cylinders without proper periodic inspection are moving bombs themselves. In an unregulated country like ours, they should never have been allowed in the first place.

suraj Apr 05, 2017 10:27am

i have never seen so many of gas cylinder blasting so frequently. Is it just denial?

Vivek Wani Apr 05, 2017 10:27am


Umair Babar Apr 05, 2017 10:28am

Too many "cylinder" blasts. Failure of the punjab administration

Ayaz Apr 05, 2017 10:28am

@NOMANSLAND yup! - its because the cylinders have fulfilled their life and desperately need servicing. A good quality Italian cylinder can run without servicing for 4 years, after which time it is illegal to use unless serviced.

People shy from servicing as in many cases the cylinders are irreparable and have to be destroyed, the servicing companies cut the cylinder in half to ensure it is not used again.

Our locomotives converted to cylindered fuel approx 20 years ago and 2 waves of service due date have passed without it.

SRINI Apr 05, 2017 10:30am

Sad to read this kind of news. Hope not more casualties.

TS Apr 05, 2017 10:35am

Because of the upcoming elections, the true nature will be hushed up.

citizen Apr 05, 2017 10:37am

Rana saheb will ban the use of any cylinder in Punjab !

Sohail Khan Wazir Apr 05, 2017 10:41am

Hope it was a cylinder blast. May less casualties take place ameen.

Sohail Khan Wazir Apr 05, 2017 10:42am

@suraj it was a cylinder blast in a vehicle.

AKKS Apr 05, 2017 10:43am

"Cylinder blast again " ... OK guys, we believe you !

Atul .M Apr 05, 2017 10:46am

Sad to listen.r.i.p.

ANURADHA Apr 05, 2017 10:49am

well if it is only a cylinder blast, what is shahbaz sharif condemning

JKhan Apr 05, 2017 10:58am

Our dear Shahbaz Sharif the CM Punjab has promptly condemned the incident. That provides greatest of reliefs to us mortals. Rana Sana? Less said the better.

JKhan Apr 05, 2017 11:00am

@suraj if you see those cylinders you would admire the bravery of the passengers and the Driver!

Vicky Apr 05, 2017 11:02am

"Cylinder blast"............being condemned by Shahbaaz Sharif.......interesting.

Arshad Apr 05, 2017 11:12am

RIP And I wish it would be a cylinder blast And all the census workers remains safe Ameen

Waaris Apr 05, 2017 11:14am

"...Shahbaz Sharif has "strongly condemned" the incident and directed authorities to submit a report..." And is CM Sharif going to act on the report or just sit on like previous disaster reports!!!

Arshad Apr 05, 2017 11:16am

Regardless of cause, we again lost our fellow country men. RIP !

gURBEET SINGH Apr 05, 2017 11:18am

R.I.P praying for peace in pk.

murli Apr 05, 2017 11:24am

Chinese cylinders!!! Sad for those killed and injured. RIP

Hemant Sharma Apr 05, 2017 11:26am

There should not be any Good and Bad Terrorists

Terrorism should be condemned

Skeptic Apr 05, 2017 11:27am

Is there a 'foreign hand' involved in placing these Cylinders around Lahore??

These suicide cylinders are a menace.

opinion Apr 05, 2017 11:28am

@ANURADHA He is condemning the cylinder.

syed sadaqain Apr 05, 2017 11:30am

It was not Cylinder Ballast. Its Propaganda that its gas Cylinder Blast......Threat was there. Express online reported immediately that its Suicidal attacked on on the Team of Census.

AKS Apr 05, 2017 11:35am

Investigate who is issuing cylinders to Taliban

SAB Apr 05, 2017 11:36am

Is PUnjab government again going to blame a gas cylinder?

Feroz Apr 05, 2017 11:38am

How can a suicide bomber target a census team which is continually on the move ? Was he waiting in a corner hoping a census team will pass by.

SURYA KANT AGRAWAL Apr 05, 2017 11:39am

This is an accident not a terrorist attack.

VIVAAN SINGH Apr 05, 2017 11:41am

soldier is soldier .. R.I.P!!

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Apr 05, 2017 11:44am

R.I.P Soldier and civilians! Long live Pak Armed Forces/Scientists.

INSIDER Apr 05, 2017 11:51am

Cylinder it is then... As always.... I condemn Cylinders... Pakistani Govt says it's cylinder...Then it's a cylinder... It's Ultimate truth...How dare you even doubt it... Cylinder murda bad..

Mohammad Fahad Aijaz Apr 05, 2017 11:52am

PM and CM are just there to condemn such incidents. It is due their lack of will and corrupt mindset that we are still facing such incidents despite the fact that these guys have ruled Punjab and Pakistan for the last 3 decades.

SYED HASSAN HASEEB Apr 05, 2017 11:52am

one big operation finished second in full swing and the result is zero . punjab had no terrorists see even that nice place is attacked . what to do i dont know.

NURUL HUDA Apr 05, 2017 11:55am

It is a very unfortunate incident. Why such a tragedy like bomb blasts is regularly happening everywhere in Pakistan, even in major cities, markets. Such an unfortunate thing (bomb blasts) happened in India's major cities many years ago. Now, sometimes it happened in NE or J&K but not anywhere in the country except these two regions. May almighty bless Pakistan.

zulfI Apr 05, 2017 12:04pm

Again a report will be sought and an inquiry commission will be made .... and nothing will be learnt or gained .... until the next such sad incident.

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Apr 05, 2017 12:05pm

@VIVAAN SINGH A good friend is a good friend. Indian or Pakistani.

Thank for your kind words dost.

Sameer Apr 05, 2017 12:05pm

Punjab police should be ashamed. Trying to cover it as a gas cylinder gone unstable. Rangers already mentioned that it was suicide bombing but Punjab police denied. Lets see if they deny 4 soldiers and 2 civilians martyrs too. God be with their families. Punjab needs severe vetting.

Rahul Apr 05, 2017 12:06pm

"It can safely be assumed that this census team and the security personnel with it were the target of the suicide bomber all along,"

What an ironic use of the word "safely".

Princess Apr 05, 2017 12:14pm

It is time Govt decides whether they want relation only with Afghanistan or with the rest of the world? If they do not close borders, such incidents will happen. Pakistan is bleeding, and no body in the world wants to play with Pakistan in Pakistan cuz of security concerns. Desire for having relation with Afghanistan at this cost is a big mistake.

Shiv Gautam Apr 05, 2017 12:14pm

No such cylinder blasts in India, despite large scale utilization of LPG cylinders, I wonder of what material Pakistani cylinders are made of.

suraj Apr 05, 2017 12:15pm

@JKhan @suraj if you see those cylinders you would admire the bravery of the passengers and the Driver!

I can only see the negligence of Govt. and Politician.

Inqelab Apr 05, 2017 12:16pm

@IMTIAZ ALI KHAN What abt the rest

Deepseeker Apr 05, 2017 12:18pm

Cylinders and summer heat are deadly combination.

Random Apr 05, 2017 12:28pm

Instead of condemning such instances, please pray for a few days of incident free peace.

vikas Apr 05, 2017 12:36pm

Too many cylinder bombs. I hope it's not denial because then no efforts will be put in to preventing such attacks and a sincere investigation.

Then again maybe they were Chinese made cylinders. Suggest you be careful with Chinese made bombs and missiles too. Even Sunday is made in China. Doesn't last too long.

Viking Star Apr 05, 2017 12:40pm

Provincial government condemning the incident and asking for submission of report is a "pathetic" routine. We do not need such impotent governments of Punjab/Sindh and Baluchistan. KPK has the history of being the most troubled province (mainly because of its border with Afghanistan), but all credit to them for doing so much to bring peace in their province. For how much longer we will need to bear with Zardaris and Sharifs?

Asif A Shah Apr 05, 2017 12:49pm

@gURBEET SINGH , Thanks!

Kash Apr 05, 2017 12:49pm

Ban CNG/cylinders in cars immediately. Invest in LPG

Xyz Apr 05, 2017 12:51pm

No one is talking bout Pak-afghan border closure

lost cause Apr 05, 2017 12:57pm

Are these cylinders or bombs. Is there no regulations. The Brave died due government negligence. Condolences won't suffice. These deaths were totally unnecessary. May God give strength to their families to bear the loss. RIP.

Mahmood Apr 05, 2017 12:59pm

In Pakistan, even the security personal, police and soldiers themselves need guards to protect themselves.

Asif Kashmiri Apr 05, 2017 01:04pm

RIP brave souls - Long live Pakistan Armed Forces

Andy Apr 05, 2017 01:06pm

What's wrong with census team?

Stranger Apr 05, 2017 01:09pm

RIP Brave hearts

Ahmed Apr 05, 2017 01:10pm

Where is National action plan?

The end is near Apr 05, 2017 01:12pm

Seal the borders with Afghanistan and send Afghan refugees back to their homes in Afghanistan ASAP. Innocent Pakistani people are getting killed each and every month in suicide attacks.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Apr 05, 2017 01:29pm

What a great tragedy?

Pakistani Apr 05, 2017 01:30pm


Abdul Rehman Apr 05, 2017 01:31pm

@Shiv Gautam : No such cylinder blasts in India, despite large scale utilization of LPG cylinders, I wonder of what material Pakistani cylinders are made of.

That is the difference between "Made in India" and "Made in China".

Abdullah Khan Apr 05, 2017 01:32pm

we are losing precious lives of soldiers due to inefficient civil institutions

mas Apr 05, 2017 01:37pm

like seriously what is the Census have to do with anything ? how does killing them make sense at all ?

Falcon1 Apr 05, 2017 01:38pm

With such abundance of Gas, I am surprised Pakistan doesn't export any.

Over-filled Gas cylinders will explode - especially in Punjab, during summer heat. While rest of the country can hardly keep the lights on or the stove running to cook a meal for lack of Electricity and Gas. The irony!

Asif Apr 05, 2017 01:53pm

Making tall claims is easy when you are secured and no one can bother you. The fact is we have lost it and lost it big time.

ajay Apr 05, 2017 01:53pm

Looks like someone has produced more than a dozen kids and doesn't want to be found out.

Logic Apr 05, 2017 01:59pm

@The end is near -"Seal the borders with Afghanistan and send Afghan refugees back"

Once you seal the border how can you send them back?

Dr. Nazeer Khan Apr 05, 2017 01:59pm

Government should do more to catch those foreign agents and punish them hard to save innocent civilians.

muhammad aqeel Apr 05, 2017 02:05pm

It is not a cylinder blast because the cylinder blast when team was arrived i am not under stood this matter it blast on other time

dpasha Apr 05, 2017 02:07pm

@opinion @ANURADHA He is condemning the cylinder.

The sheer act of condemning the cylinder manufacturing country! Better avoid the original reason for disaster, what I mean!

Zak Apr 05, 2017 02:13pm

Pakistan soldiers, always the brave and defending us and the civilians with their lives. Census is something the civilians should be doing on their own, but they can't trust each other due to shady characteristics. Prayers for all those who lost their lives and got injured.

talat Apr 05, 2017 02:15pm

someone is grossly interested in halting the census

Justwasif Apr 05, 2017 02:26pm

Don't worry, it was cylinder.

AQ Apr 05, 2017 02:26pm

These Govt. goons don't want it to happen, there would be need of reforms when real figure is revealed and corrupt politicians don't want that to happen.

AQ Apr 05, 2017 02:27pm

PPP, ANP, PMLN, MQM these parties have no interest in security of people and development of Pakistan they are real enemies of Pakistan.

Zulfiqar Apr 05, 2017 02:38pm

We must seal the border with Afghanistan, and send back all the Afghani's.

Avtar Apr 05, 2017 02:38pm

Sad! why do soldiers accompany census workers?

Muhammad Arshad Apr 05, 2017 02:38pm

Sad Incident

wasim Apr 05, 2017 02:41pm

oh.. some do not want to be known and counted! whose angry?

Raja farhat Abbas Apr 05, 2017 03:07pm

My condolences/respect for the deceased and their families.

Haal e ghazab Apr 05, 2017 03:14pm

what have we got to even census team getting attack . when will we learn our lessons do something to ease matters are all the authorities still sleeping ?

Hadi Apr 05, 2017 03:19pm

RIP brothers!

Naveed Apr 05, 2017 03:19pm

@Avtar - "why do soldiers accompany census workers?"

Maybe you could've guarded the census workers instead?

desi dimag Apr 05, 2017 03:25pm

Why pepole are not accepting the real problem? It is well known across the world.

Sohail Khan Wazir Apr 05, 2017 03:39pm

The real problem is afghani refugees. Send them back and seal the border.

aslam shaikh Apr 05, 2017 03:43pm

I hope the military catches these criminals and the influential people financing and supporting them.

LALAT Apr 05, 2017 03:57pm

Don't understand why some group has problem with the "teams", be it Cricket team (Sri Lanka), polio team and now census team? Will somebody throw some light on this?

M Akram Apr 05, 2017 04:08pm

Rest in Peace great defenders of Pakistan.

Shakil Apr 05, 2017 04:22pm

@Viking Star well said, sir

Manzarul Haque Apr 05, 2017 04:37pm

@Hemant Sharma absolutely

Jalbani Baloch Apr 05, 2017 04:46pm

My heartfelt sympathies with the man in uniform and civilians who lost their lives in service to the nation. These cowardly attacks simply strengthen the courage and resoluteness of the armed forces backed by Pakistani Nation to fight to the last remnant of terrorists till the country is free from this menace of terrorism.

MaLIK_AWAN Apr 05, 2017 05:52pm

Innocent people lost their lives and chair based warriors making fun of this. Such a shame on humanity you are. RIP those soldiers, and May God help the victims families. Please pray for those poor souls and the families.

Human Apr 05, 2017 10:13pm

thanks jinnah . the great visionary leader

Roy Meddock Apr 05, 2017 11:33pm

Terrible. My heartfelt condolences to all Pakistanis. Hope the day comes soon, when I read about Pakistan for weeks and never see a story about a bomb blast.

Never understood where this endless supply of suicide bombers comes from.

Los Angeles, California, USA

LAHORI KID Apr 06, 2017 12:24am

Our leaders and ministers should really understand the situation before making comments, its said to be a cylinder blowing up, some are saying it was a terrorist blowing himself up, our own Punjab CM condemned the incident, than we have our Punjab Law minister Rana Sanaullah confirming the terrorist incident and made this comment "There was a threat alert, and in the last 10 days the threat alert in Lahore was repeated," he said, explaining that when an alert is issued repeatedly, it is considered "serious". I am literally embarrassed by the lack of knowledge of what's going on with these leaders.

Devendra Sood Apr 06, 2017 12:45am

I think we are NUMB any more. NO more words. JUST SILENCE.

Raja farhat Abbas Apr 06, 2017 01:54am

@Roy Meddock ...Thank you my friend for your kind words regarding us Pakistani's, it means a lot to us.

neal kluge Apr 06, 2017 02:30am

@NOMANSLAND Lies about gas cylinders exploding are rising.

Alba Apr 06, 2017 02:44am

@NOMANSLAND ... Chaudhry Nisar said this was a gas cylinder explosion.

aga Khan Apr 06, 2017 03:15am

Why any SANE person will object to census - after all the main objective for census is for planning - in consideration of the population growth and demographic factors. Can some one help me here - I just do not get it. Religion has nothing to do with census - So why people are all hell bent out to impede such a peaceful process.

Mj Apr 06, 2017 07:56am

Cylinder blasts targeting the census team. Sure.

BAXAR Apr 07, 2017 04:21pm

@Roy Meddock "Never understood where this endless supply of suicide bombers comes from." Money.

Raghu Apr 07, 2017 09:07pm

@Feroz : Census team does STOP at a place for some time to take the CENSUS details !! They obviously cant take details running here and there just to make themselves a moving target

Nasir London Apr 07, 2017 09:38pm

Our Ministers are good at directing authorities concerned extending ALL requiste assistance. Directives are given all too often without action and that is the real issue and source of corruption in our country where people die for no cause of their own except the cuses of the rulers.