42 killed, over 175 injured in twin suicide attack on Lahore shrine

     At least 42 people were killed and over 175 injured in two consecutive suicide bombings and a low intensity blast at Lahore’s Hazrat Data Gunj Bukhsh shrine on Thursday night. According to reports, two militants wearing suicide vests packed with explosives blew themselves up at two different places inside the shrine, which devotees from across the country frequent, especially on Thursday. Police said both bombers were in their 20’s. Television images showed people lying in pool of blood and a thick smoke billowing out of the shrine. “I saw black smoke billowing out from all over the shrine. The area was filled with a burning smell. Men, women and children were trying to run in every direction to get away,” The News quoted a devotee who had been in the courtyard when the first blast rocked the shrine. Mian Sajjad Ahmad, in-charge of the Darbar, said they had been receiving terror threats for the past few days. Hazrat Data Gunj Bukhsh shrine serves as a last resort for homeless and hungry people as free food is served here round the clock. Following the twin blasts, shopkeepers pulled down their shutters as local residents protested against terror attack. The angry mob blocked the main road, burnt tyres and pelted stones at the police party. Security officials retaliated and fired shots in the air and resorted to baton-charge on the enraged mob. The furious mob also damaged a DSNG van of a private television channel.

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