(141102) -- LAHORE, Nov. 2, 2014 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani police officers patrol on road during flag march on the 7th day of Muharram in eastern Lahore, Pakistan, on Nov. 1, 2014. Muharram, the first month of Islamic calendar, is usually observed for ten days but a blast in outskirts killed 45 and injured 79 on Sunday evening. (Xinhua/Jamil Ahmed)

Ban Ki-moon Asks Pakistan to Act against Wagah Attackers

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked Pakistan to act against the terrorists who carried out the attack last week at the Wagah border on Tuesday.

Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Monday, “The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack” that took place Saturday on the Pakistani side of the Wagah border crossing with India.

“The Secretary-General,” he added, “urges the Pakistani authorities to bring those responsible to justice.”

Dujarric said Ban conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and government of Pakistan and wished the wounded a quick recovery.

However, Pakistan on Tuesday observed Muharram to pay homage to Imam Husain and other martyrs of Karbala amid strict security. The local administrations reportedly placed hospitals and ambulance services on high alert.

At least 60 people were killed and more than 120 injured when a young suicide bomber wearing a suicide vest blew himself up near the Wagah border Saturday evening as people began dispersing after watching the ceremony to lower the flags of the two countries at the frontier post.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the government said it “strongly condemns the dastardly terrorist attack” and added that there was “no grievance or political goal so great as to justify such a cowardly act”.

“We believe that only the firmest and most comprehensive action against all terror groups without any distinction is the only way to defeat this evil scourge,” it said.

“Our prayers will remain with the families of the victims, who we hope will be granted the courage and fortitude to overcome this irreparable loss that they have just suffered.”

Congress president Sonia Gandhi also condemned the attack. “Congress president Sonia Gandhi has expressed shock and dismay over the bomb blast, condemning extremist elements behind such inhuman act,” an official statement from the Congress said. Gandhi extended her condolences to the families of the bereaved.

The terror attack took place when a young man wearing a suicide vest blew himself up near the Wagah border check post Saturday evening as hundreds of men, women and children were returning from the daily flag lowering ceremony held at the border by the Pakistan Rangers and India’s Border Security Force (BSF).

According to reports, the toll could go up as the condition of over a dozen of the injured is “very critical”.

The responsibility for the attack was claimed separately by the Jundullah and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan-affiliated Jamaat-ul-Ahrar outfits.

(With inputs from IANS)

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