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Punjab home minister Shuja Khanzada killed in suicide blast, LeJ takes responsibility

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Updates in previous story

ATTOCK, Pakistan: The Punjab Home Minister Colonel (retd) Shuja Khanzada and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Hazro Shaukat Shah were killed along with 14 other persons in a suicide blast that hit the minister’s public office in Punjab’s Attock district on Sunday.

Initial report submitted by Bomb Disposal Unit indicated that C-4 chemical was used for this massive suicide blast and at least two suicide bombers exploded themselves.

Investigators said that Home Minister Khanzada got threat after he busted TTP terrorists gang in Shadara in first week of July this year and then his life was under constant threat after killing of LeJ leadership in police encounter but Khanzada did not stop his routine meetings with people and at last became victim of suicide attack.

“We told late Home Minister to suspend his routine meetings with people and stay save as much as possible but he never cared and said that nobody could change the date of his death then why to be worried or afraid of”, said one of his former security officer while talking to Dispatch News Desk.

Initial police report and information gathered by injured persons indicated that suicide bombers stood near pillars of shed under which minister was sitting with over 50 persons and detonated themselves resulting the entire roof was caved in, resulting the death of Minister, his police guards and 12 other persons.

Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shabaz Sharif attended funeral of Khanzada and Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) at Attock police lines on late Sunday evening. Punjab government announced three-day mourning over this tragic incident.

The reports about Shuja Khanzada’s death were confirmed by the advisor to Chief Minister Punjab Dr Saeed Elahi, saying that the body of the provincial home minister had been retrieved from the debris. He was man behind of arrest of hundreds of top Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) terrorists in Punjab and he was focal person in contact with top intelligence agencies of the country and always took action on tips off without delay. His life was under threat and he had prior knowledge about possible attack on his life after killing of chief of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) Malik Ishaq who was killed in a police encouter. LeJ and TTP operate hands in hands and LeJ is also on the list of Terrorists Organisation released by Department of State of United States.

DSP Shaukat ShahDSP Shaukat Shah was also known as a brave police officer who was killed along with Khanzada in suicide blast. He lived and educated in Rawalpindi.

Meanwhile, the sources in the interior ministry have claimed that that banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) has taken responsibility of the suicide attack on Shuja Khanzada.

The sources alleged the Punjab home minister was under threat following the killing of LeJ Chief Malik Ishaq in July this year.

Also read: LeJ Chief Malik Ishaq, two sons among 16 terrorists killed in Muzaffargarh

The police sources said that a suicide attacker detonated his explosives when while a jirga was underway at the Punjab home minister’s public office at his native village Shadi Khan in Attock district.

Nearly 25 persons also were injured in the blast. The provincial home ministers’ death occurred when the roof of is dera (public office) caved in after the blast.

Meanwhile, the injured persons were rushed to various hospitals for medial treatment while emergency has been declared in hospitals of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and other political parties leaders have strongly condemned the suicide blast which caused deaths of 13 persons including the Punjab Home Minister.

In a statement, the information minister said that operation against terrorists will continue till the elimination of last terrorist. He said that such cowardly acts cannot weaken the resolve of the government against terrorism.

The Punjab Chief Minister has sought report from Inspector General (IG) Punjab Police and ordered probe into the incident.

 

Following his retirement as a Colonel from the military, Shuja Khanzada entered politics and was elected as a member of the Punjab Assembly from 2002 to 2007.

Shuja Khanzada served as a special advisor to the Chief Minister and held a ministry portfolio. He was elected to the provincial assembly again in the 2008 and 2013 elections.

The deceased home minister had been very active in operations against outlawed terror outfits and also arrested some high profile terrorists. The intelligence sources claim that the attack on Shuja Khanzada may have been retaliation for the killing of LeJ militant leader Malik Ishaq by the Punjab police in Muzaffargarh on July 29, 2015.

Mati
Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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