Taliban strike Pak cultural city; 40 killed

Synchronised attacks target Lahore, Peshawar; police centres bombed

Taliban strike Pak cultural city; 40 killed

Pak police commandos take position outside the Federal Investigation Agency building after the attack, in Lahore on Thursday. AFP

The attacks come close on the heels of an attempt by terrorists to storm the army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi last week.

Police said 18 people — 13 security personnel and five civilians — were killed in the coordinated attacks on the provincial headquarters of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and two police training facilities in Punjab’s capital, Lahore, between 9.15 am and 9.40 am local time, the fifth terror strike in the country in 11 days.
Ten attackers were gunned down by security forces, while some blew themselves up. One terrorist was captured alive from the FIA office. In Kohat, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a police station at 8.45 am local time, killing 11 people. The dead include three policemen and schoolchildren.

Terrorists struck in Lahore, targeting the FIA building, the Elite Force police training centre at Bedian Road and the police training unit in the suburb of Manawan. Two police inspectors and four civilians died in the attack on the FIA office, police said. A terrorist was gunned down by security forces, while another was captured.
The terrorists who attacked the police centres at Bedian Road and Manawan lobbed grenades and traded fire with policemen and paramilitary Pakistan Rangers troops.
Ten policemen and four terrorists died in the gun battle at the Manawan centre. A terrorist blew himself up when he was shot by policemen while another detonated his explosives. The siege at the Bedian Road facility continued for almost five hours before five terrorists were eliminated.

Lt Gen Shafqat Ahmad, the General Officer Commanding of Lahore, said two terrorists were shot dead, while three detonated their suicide jackets. A policeman and a civilian were also killed in the attack.

However, hours after the attacks in Lahore, terrorists struck at the Gulshan-e-Rehman colony in Peshawar, which is home to several government employees. A child was killed and several injured when an explosives-laden car was triggered by a remote-control device. 

The Amjad Farooqi faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attacks in Lahore.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the government would firmly deal with the Taliban. President Asif Ali Zardari said the attacks would not deter the government from its objective of eliminating terrorists.

The terrorist killed at the FIA office in Lahore was carrying packets of dates and dry fruit. Guards stopped the attacker before he could enter the office.
Security forces evacuated the office and nearby buildings and searched for three more terrorists believed to be in the area.

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