Pakistan blast ‘kills 45’ at Wagah border with India

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At least 45 people have been killed and more than 70 injured in a suspected suicide bombing at a Pakistan-India border town near the city of Lahore.

A senior security official in Punjab province said that the dead included three members of the border force.

The explosion happened on the Pakistan side near the famous Wagah crossing between the two countries.

Crowds gather every day at the crossing to watch soldiers conduct a “lowering of the flags” ceremony.

Police told the BBC at least 15 of those injured were seriously wounded.

Mushtaq Sukhera, the Punjab police chief, said the blast happened when a suicide attacker approached a restaurant after the Wagah ceremony and detonated his explosives.

He told Reuters news agency the attacker had struck when security had been “a bit relaxed”.

Another witness described how he was sitting in his office when he heard the blast.

“I rushed to the scene and saw scattered bodies, injured men, women and children and smashed cars,” one intelligence official told Reuters.

Dozens of people use the Wagah crossing to enter India and Pakistan everyday, says the BBC’s Shumaila Jaffrey in Lahore.

It is also a crucial trade facility, where truck-loads of goods coming from and going to India are loaded and unloaded.

A large number of people attend the border parade on Sundays, our reporter adds.

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