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Lahore Blast Victims Calls for Public Hanging of Masterminds

by AFP
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Arif Ali—AFP

Police say they are still confirming whether a suicide bomber perpetrated the attack

Anger was growing in Pakistan on Tuesday as grief-stricken relatives of 26 people killed by a suicide bomber in Lahore a day earlier buried their loved ones and demanded the government publicly hang the masterminds of the attack.

Families and residents in the provincial capital demanded action as they attended funeral prayers, and as the chief minister of Punjab province Shahbaz Sharif—brother of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif—visited survivors in hospital.

“We demand from the Government of Pakistan that those who are involved in this incident and those who are the facilitators should be hanged in public,” Hafiz Naseer ul Din, uncle of a policeman killed in the blast, told AFP. “We came here in great grief,” added Shaikh Rizwan, a local resident who attended the funeral prayers for some of the victims. “Twenty-six people were martyred here yesterday, I request my government that please uproot these terrorists fully so our country can progress,” he said.

The powerful blast on Monday hit a busy vegetable market on Lahore’s Ferozepur Road, blowing out the windows in nearby buildings. Many of those killed in the attack were police who were clearing shopping stalls that had illegally encroached on to the road.

On Tuesday, distraught relatives carried the coffins of two policemen, brothers who were killed in the attack, to a petrol pump that had been turned into a makeshift prayer ground. Floral wreaths from local police chiefs were placed on the wooden coffins as family members wept.

Police have said their initial investigations show the attack, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, was carried out by a suicide bomber. Forensic experts were collecting evidence from the site of the blast on Tuesday, an AFP video reporter saw.

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