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Pakistani, Indian Leaders Condemn Suicide Attack


Relatives gather beside the bodies of victims who were killed in yesterday's suicide bomb attack on the Wagah border, before funeral prayers in Lahore on November 3, 2014.

The prime ministers of India and Pakistan have condemned a suicide bomb attack at the main border crossing between the two countries.

Latest reports say 55 people were killed and dozens more wounded when the explosion hit near a checkpoint at the Wagah border crossing on November 2.

The attack occurred as hundreds of people were returning from a military parade on the outskirts of Lahore, provincial police chief Mushtaq Sukhera said.

Both the Pakistani and the Indian military conduct daily parades and flag-flying ceremonies on their respective sides of the border.

The event normally draws crowds in the hundreds, and possibly more on a weekend like November 2.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed "grief and sorrow" over the attack.

His Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, condemned the "shocking" and "dastardly" attack.

A doctor at a local hospital said that there were 10 women and seven children among the dead, and eight members of a single family.

Footage on Pakistani news channels showed people covered in blood and crying in pain as they were evacuated to hospitals.

According to RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal, several Taliban splinter groups claimed responsibility, including Tehrik-e-Taliban and Jamat-ul-Ihrar.

A spokesman for Jamat-ul-Ihar, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said in a statement sent to media that the attack was revenge for those killed in the Pakistan Army campaign against militants in the tribal areas of North Waziristan.

According to the Pakistani military, some 1,200 insurgents have been killed since the military launched the offensive in mid-June.

Security has been increased across Pakistan to thwart possible attacks on minority Shi'ite Muslims observing Ashura, which marks the death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson and one of the most revered figures in Shi'ite Islam.

With reporting by Radio Mashaal, AP, and AFP
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