Pakistan’s Punjab province home minister killed in suicide attack
KABUL (Pajhwok): Colonel (Retd) Shuja Khanzada, the home minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province, was killed in a suicide attack on his political office in Shadi Khan village in Attock district on Sunday, a medic said.
Pakistan’s Dawn.com quoted Dr. Syed Elahi, advisor to the chief minister of Punjab, confirming the death of Khanzada whose body was shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Attock.
Several others died in the bomb blast. The impact of the explosion caused the roof of the building to collapse, and shattered windows in nearby houses.
It is reported that over 100 people were estimated to have been in attendance at the Jirga being held at Khanzada’s political office. Many of them were buried underneath the wreckage as the entire structure had been razed to the ground.
Syed Shaukat Shah, deputy superintendent of police Hazro, was among the dead recovered from the site. Ten other policemen who are yet to be rescued were present at the scene when the blast occurred.
Sources in the interior ministry claimed that banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) has claimed responsibility of the suicide attack on Khanzada. They alleged Khanzada was under threat following the killing of LeJ chief Malik Ishaq in July.
Shuja Khanzada was given charge of the home department in October 2014 and had been actively involved in major operations against terror outfits. The provincial department he headed was responsible for the maintenance of law and order, and protection of life and property of citizens.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned the terrorist attack. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also denounced the incident and directed federal and provincial institutions to carry out immediate rescue activities.
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