At least eight people — five policemen and three civilians — were killed and 25 others injured in what officials described as a suicide bombing targeting an Elite Force van parked near the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore this morning. Terrorist attacks are not a new thing for Lahori’s, but it has been sometime since we have experienced such pain. Here are 10 times bomb blast shook Lahore to its core.
On 10 October 2004, an explosion at a mosque used by Shia Muslims in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore has killed at least 4 people, including a 13-year-old boy. A suicide bomber detonated a device as people had gathered for evening prayers at the Husainia Hall mosque in an old part of Lahore, police said. Two security guards were among those killed – eight people were injured.
While the direct culprits never claimed responsibility, this had been part of the surge in sectarian violence in the region, which saw causalities on both sides. The police did arrest one man, but he was later released over a lack of evidence. What makes this incident important is that it was the first bomb blast in Lahore in the post 9/11 world. Lahore, and particularly the old walled city where the Husainia Hall mosque is situated, had been relatively peaceful area. This indicated that was no longer the case.
On January 10 2008, 24 people were killed and 73 injured in a suicide attack when the policemen were deliberately targeted outside Lahore High Court before the scheduled lawyer’s protest against the government in provincial capital of Lahore. This attacked effected Lahore for a couple of reasons. The magnitude of such an attack had not been in Lahore till then. While the suspects of this attack were never really released, may suspected it was the Taliban which had been waging war for some time now.
On 3 March 2009, a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers, part of a larger convoy, was fired upon by 12 gunmen near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. The cricketers were on their way to play the third day of the second Test against the Pakistani cricket team. 6 members of the Sri Lanka national cricket team were wounded. 6 Pakistani policemen and 2 civilians were killed.
It would be nearly a decade after another international team was able to come to Pakistan. While no one claimed responsibility for this attack, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was held responsible for this attack. 3 men were arrestesd prosecuted, while the alleged mastermind was killed in eastern Afghanistan during a military operation, according to the military.
30 March 2009, the Manawan Police Academy in Lahore, Pakistan, was attacked by an estimated 12 gunmen. The perpetrators were armed with automatic weapons and grenades or rockets and some were dressed as policemen. They took over the main building during a morning parade when 750 unarmed police recruits were present on the compound’s parade ground. Police forces arrived 90 minutes later and were able to take back the building by 15:30. Five trainees, two instructors and a passer-by were killed.
The four were taken to undisclosed locations for interrogation by the security forces according to local media. The leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud took responsibility for the attack. Ten suspects belonging to a religious organisation were arrested from Sukkur. Police also arrested Qari Ishtiaq, who was said to be the commander of the Punjabi Taliban. He was arrested from Bahawalpur on the information provided by the Hijratullah who was jailed for 10 years due to his role. 7 other militants were arrested from different parts of Punjab based on his information.
2008 and 2009 were bad years for Lahore, with multiple attacks occurring in the city. One of the deadliest attacks happened towards the end of the year. Moon market Lahore attacks were a series of two bomb blasts and a shooting which occurred in a crowded market in Lahore, Pakistan on 7 December 2009. At least 54 people were killed & about 150 others wounded. According to preliminary reports the bombers were about 18 years of age and from southern Punjab (Pakistan). However, no formal group claimed responsibility for the attack-but it was assumed this was done by the Tehrik-i-Taliban.
8 March 2010 Lahore bombing was a suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan that killed 13 people and injured 90. An individual drove a vehicle carrying a large amount of explosives into the Federal Investigation Agency’s office in the Model Town district. The building collapsed due to the damage it sustained. The reason this makes this makes this list I because of the sheer strength of the bomb. The bomb was 1,100 pounds (500 kg) in size, powerful enough to create a crater 12 feet (3.7 m) deep, and injure someone in a house 300 m away from the detonation. It was such a powerful attack, that it was reportedly heard all over the city. Spokesperson for the Taliban in Pakistan claimed the attack was retribution for recent attacks by the Pakistani military and the United States Central Intelligence Agency on tribal areas.
In what was a suprising and unfortunate incident, another bomb blast occurred just 4 days later! 12 March 2010 Lahore bombings were a series of bombings in Lahore. It was the second attack in Lahore that week, following a bomb explosion at an intelligence headquarters on 8 March 2010. 2 men on foot and wearing vests carrying explosives detonated bombs near the Royal Artillery (R.A) Bazaar.
It was speculated that the intended target was a military convoy in the area at the time. The blasts wounded about 100 people, mostly civilians, and killed at least 59, of which ten were soldiers. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the same group responsible for the 8 March bombing, has claimed responsibility for these attacks, as well.
2010 was a bad year for Lahore, seeing multiple attacks. May 2010 Lahore attacks also referred as Lahore Massacre occurred on May 28, 2010, in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, during Friday prayers. 94 people were killed and more than 120 were injured in nearly simultaneous attacks against two mosques of the minority Ahmadiyya Community.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, as well as their Punjab wing, claimed responsibility for the attacks and were also blamed by the Pakistani Police. The Lahore police also stated that the attacks were carried out by six militants belonging to Pakistani Taliban, who were trained in the town of Miranshah in North Waziristan. They were aged between 17 and 28 and arrived in Lahore on May 21. It has been claimed that the reason why the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan attacked Ahmadi mosques was because Al Qaeda wished to gain public support in Pakistan.
On 27 March 2016, Easter Sunday, at least 75 people were killed and over 340 injured in a suicide bombing that hit the main entrance of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, one of the largest parks in Lahore, Pakistan. The attack targeted Christians who were celebrating Catholic Easter. The majority of victims were women and children. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a group affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack. Several suspected terrorists were arrested alongside with firearms with full ammo recovered in different parts in Lahore, Faisalabad, and Multan. Since the night of 27 March, the army had conducted a military operation for capturing the terrorists, rounding up around 200 suspects involved within the attack.
After the past few major attack, security situations started to improve in Lahore. However, On 14 March 2018, eight people, including five policemen, lost their lives and 20 others were injured in a suicide attack which targeted a police check post in Raiwind on the outskirts of Lahore. Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility, stating that a “suicide attacker” had used a motorcycle bomb to target police officials.