Pakistan: Suicide Bomber Targets Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada
Published: August 16, 2015
Pakistan: Suicide Bomber Targets Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada, Police said the blast appeared to be a large bomb, and it had caused the roof to cave in as Khanzada held meetings with supporters in his hometown of Attock. Khanzada is reportedly trapped under the rubble along with 24 other people as the entire structure of his office building collapsed.
“There were between 20 and 30 people present when the blast took place,” district information officer Shahzad Niaz told Reuters. “The roof collapsed.”
Rescue workers at the scene said six bodies had been recovered so far. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
“As per initial reports Shuja Khanzada is critically injured and still trapped under debris,” Punjab Home Department Secretary Azam Suleman told The Express Tribune.
According to initial reports, a suicide bomber entered Khanzada’s political office and blew himself up. The provincial home minister was addressing a dispute between two parties at the time.
“From the evidence available, it seems that it was a suicide blast,” Shuja Khanzada’s son said, according to Express News. Further, Khanzada’s nephew has appealed to Pakistan Army to help with rescue efforts.
Police and rescue teams have reached the site and rescue efforts are underway. An emergency has been declared in hospitals in the twin cities. Further, Inter Services Public Relations said, “Pakistan Army’s special urban search and rescue teams have reached the blast site.”
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has directed for provision of helicopter from the Interior Ministry for shifting the injured on emergency basis. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the blast and DPO Attock has reached the site.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the blast at Khanzada’s residence and called for immediate rescue measures and medical aid for the injured.
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