Pak blast outside Gaddafi Stadium a suicide attack, kills 2
Lahore: Pakistan’s Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has said the blast that killed two people, including a police officer, near the Gaddafi Stadium here was a suicide attack.
The blast took place at 9 PM yesterday when a day-night match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe was underway.
“An attempt to attack the Gaddafi Stadium was foiled by the gallantry of a police official, who lost his life while trying to stop the attacker near Kalma Chowk,” Rashid told GeoNews.
A police sub-inspector and a citizen were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up while riding on a rickshaw near Kalma Chowk, hardly less than a kilometre from the Gaddafi Stadium.
“The gas cylinder fixed in the auto rickshaw was exploded. Two persons including a policeman were killed in the blast. Forensic samples had been collected from the site to determine the nature of the explosion,” Lahore police chief Amin Wains said.
Four policemen and a civilian were injured in the attack. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital where the sub- inspector and a civilian were pronounced dead.
Soon after the blast the Pakistan Cricket Board issued a statement, saying it was a “power transformer blast” that was caused by malfunctioning.
Police had cordoned off the area and no one, including media, was allowed to enter the blast site.
Local electronic media had at first reported an explosion close to Gaddafi stadium (on the claim of PCB) but later took any news about the blast off air after it was claimed that the explosion was caused by an electricity transformer in the area.
Rashid praised the actions of Pakistan Broadcasters Association for “covering up” the news while the cricket match was underway.
More than 20,OOO people were in the stadium and panic could cause stampede, he said.
However, the police have denied that the was a suicide attack.
The Punjab government has given a “presidential” security to the Zimbabwe Cricket Team to ensure no terror incident takes place during its tour.
This is the first tour of any international cricket team to Pakistan since the attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team by Taliban in March 2009 in Lahore’s Liberty Chowk (near Gaddafi Stadium) in which six members of the visiting team were injured.