Punjab Home Minister among 19 martyred in suicide blast

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ATTOCK: - Chief Ministers Shahbaz Sharif lying floral wreath on the coffin of Punjab Home Minister Col. (r) Shuja Khanzada during funeral ceremony at Police Line Attock. ONLINE PHOTO by Ghulam Shabbir

Shahbaz Sharif announces 3-days mourning in Punjab
Shuja Khanzada laid to rest in tears
ATTOCK, Aug 16: Punjab Home Minister Col (retd) Shuja Khanzada was among 19 people martyred and 20 others  injured in a suicide bomb blast that occurred in his native village in Attock district on Sunday.
A jirga was underway at Khanzada’s political office in Shadi Khan village when a suicide attack took place. The blast  demolished the roof of the building in which the provincial home minister and 25 others trapped under the debris. DSP Syed  Shaukat Shah was also among the dead. The blast was so strong that it shattered windows of nearby houses.
About over 50 people were attending the jirga at Khanzada’s political office. The panic gripped the area. Hospitals in  Rawalpindi and Islamabad have been put on high alert. Adviser to Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, Dr Saeed Elahi, confirmed  Khanzada’s death.
Police said the blast appeared to be a large bomb, and it had caused the roof to cave in as Khanzada held meetings with  supporters in his hometown of Attock. Khanzada was trapped under the rubble along with dozens of others as the entire  structure of his office building collapsed.
Punjab government has announced to observe three-day mourning over a deadly attack that martyred home minister Shuja Khanzada and 19 others.
Shuja Khanzada was given charge of the home department in October 2014 and had been actively involved in major operations  against terror outfits.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan have strongly condemned the terrorist attack. The  premier reaffirmed the commitment and determination of the government for pursuing the National Action Plan against terrorism  with full force and directed for preemptive security strategy to counter terrorist planning. PM Nawaz urged law enforcement  agencies to not lower their guards till the elimination of the last terrorist.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has expressed grief over Shuja Khanzada’s death. PPP leader and Adviser to Sindh  Chief Minister Sharmila Farooqi have expressed heartfelt condolences over the killing of people in the suicide attack.  Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Dera of Punjab  Home Minister Shuja Khanzada in Attock this morning and stressed on unity for the final blow to the scourge of terrorism in  the country.
In a press statement, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that coward attacks cannot lower the high morale of the nation as entire  country has risen up against the bloodshed and terrorism. He prayed for those lost their lives in the Attock attack and for  early recovery of those injured.

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