In Chenab Nagar, markets and bazaars remained closed and people were seen going in groups to the main graveyard. — Photo by AP

LAHORE Victims of Friday's deadly attacks on two Pakistani mosques were Saturday buried separately after sect members cancelled a mass funeral for more than 80 people, fearing further attacks.

 

“We are not satisfied with the security arrangements. We have cancelled the mass funeral programme,” Salim-u-din, a spokesman for Lahore's Ahmadi community told AFP by telephone.

 

“We have dug a total of 93 graves and burials are under way. More than 50 bodies have been buried until now,” the spokesman said.

 

Burials were also under way in Chenab Nagar, a town 160 kilometres west of Lahore and a spiritual centre for the Ahmadi community in Pakistan.

 

Officials in Lahore insisted that the death toll from Friday's attacks on two Ahmadi worship places in the city was unchanged.

 

“As per my record, 82 people have died, but we are collecting fresh information from the hospitals,” Amin Chupra, an administrative official told AFP by telephone.

 

The victims were killed when militants wearing suicide vests burst into prayer halls at Ahmadis' worship place in Lahore's Garhi Shahu and Model Town areas, firing guns, throwing grenades and taking hostages in Lahore's deadliest sectarian attack.

 

“We have been receiving threats for the last year,” Qamar Suleman, a community leader told AFP at Garhi Shahu Saturday.

 

The day after the attack the worship place was still scattered with broken glass and stained with blood and human flesh on its green carpet and walls.

 

“Three terrorists started spraying bullets, I can not explain that... in words,” said Ishaq Ahmed, a community volunteer at Garhi Shahu, where dozens of people were killed.

 

“I believed I would be killed as they could see me at any time,” said Ahmed, who hid at the worship places main gate when the attack began.

 

“Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was involved in these attacks. Terrorists were trained in Miranshah (the main town of North Waziristan),” Akram Naeem, a senior police official told reporters in Lahore and added that police have arrested two terrorists.

 

“Six terrorists in two groups carried out these attacks. Two were arrested, two have been killed” he said adding that the remaining two acted as facilitators outside the two mosques and police are pursuing them.

 

Grenades, Kalashnikovs, detonators, three suicide vests and four kilogrammes of explosives have been recovered from the two sites.

 

In Chenab Nagar, markets and bazaars remained closed and people were seen going in groups to the main graveyard, an AFP photographer said.

 

Ahmadis, who have been declared non-Muslim by Pakistan, may not be buried in Muslim graveyards, and thier main graveyard is in Chenab Nagar.

 

A city of eight million people, including two million members of the Ahmadi sect, Lahore has increasingly suffered Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence, with around 265 people killed in nine attacks since March 2009.

 

A US State Department report on human rights says that 11 Ahmadis were killed for their faith in 2009. -AFP

Opinion

Editorial

Wise counsel
04 Jul, 2022

Wise counsel

AMIDST the din of hateful rhetoric that tends to dominate the public discourse when discussing Muslims in today’s...
Hazardous waste
04 Jul, 2022

Hazardous waste

GIVEN we have not yet developed streamlined systems for managing locally produced hazardous waste, we are inviting...
Mob ‘justice’
04 Jul, 2022

Mob ‘justice’

OVER the past few days, a string of deadly incidents has been reported from Karachi in which enraged mobs have...
Skyrocketing prices
Updated 03 Jul, 2022

Skyrocketing prices

Some sellers are seeking to take advantage of the prevailing disorder by creating artificial shortages or jacking up prices.
Flooding alert
03 Jul, 2022

Flooding alert

THE Gilgit-Baltistan government has issued an alert about the possible flooding of areas along river banks and...
Assaulting journalists
03 Jul, 2022

Assaulting journalists

ANOTHER day, another citizen roughed up for speaking his mind. The assault on veteran journalist Ayaz Amir by...