Islamabad: Fifty-two people died and over 100 were injured today in a blast at the Wagah border in Lahore, Pakistan, minutes after the flag lowering ceremony. (See photographs)
Inspector General, Pakistan's Punjab province, said it was a suicide attack. Initial reports indicate the suicide bomber was around 18 years old.
The casualties are mostly civilian - three Pakistani Ranger personnel have been killed and five have been injured. A family of eight is among the deceased. (See tweets)
According to the police, the blast took place at 6:12 PM outside the parade ground near the Wagah border, 500 metres from the Indian side. Hundreds come to watch the ceremony at sunset and the victims, today, were on their way back when the attack took place.
The injured are being treated at the local hospitals -- the Ghurki Hospital, the Services Hospital and the Shalimar Hospital. The Medical Superintendent of Ghurki Hospital confirmed that 48 dead bodies had been brought in.
The Border Security Force, which mans the Indian side of the border at Attari, told NDTV they suspected a suicide bombing. They are trying to contact the Pakistan Rangers.
Sources also said there was an alert about a possible suicide attack 15 days ago, after which security was strengthened on both sides of the border. The Pakistan Rangers had put up extra barricades and personnel, as had the BSF.
The ceremony at the Wagah-Attari border has been one of the longest in operation between India and Pakistan. It has continued largely untouched by the many ups and downs in the relationship between the two countries, including the recent ceasefire violations at the border.