Turkey condemns terror attack in Pakistan that kills at least 15 people
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyThe Turkish Foreign Ministry has condemned a terror attack in the northeastern Pakistani city of Lahore that killed at least 15 people.
At least 15 people were killed late on Feb. 13, emergency official Ahmad Raza told Agence France-Presse, including six police officers, while up to 87 were injured when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vest at a busy protest.
“We strongly condemn this terrorist attack and wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives, a speedy recovery to the wounded and convey our condolences to the government and brotherly people of Pakistan,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement. “We reaffirm that Turkey will continue to be in solidarity with brotherly Pakistan in its fight against terrorism.”
The blast occurred during a protest against pharmaceutical companies outside the State Assembly of Punjab, of which Lahore is the capital.
The toll could have been much higher, Raza said, but for two vehicles – a TV news van and a minivan belonging to the protesters – which absorbed much of the impact of the blast.
The Pakistani Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the assault, which came three days after it announced it would carry out a series of attacks on government installations around the country.
Markets and businesses were closed across much of Pakistan’s Punjab province on Feb. 14 in mourning for the people killed in the attack.
Flags at government buildings flew at half-mast, and lawyers boycotted court proceedings a day after the attack in the provincial capital, said police officer Nazar Hayat.
Official funerals were held on Feb. 14 for some of the victims.