Two internet cafes blasts in Lahore -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Two internet cafes blasts in Lahore

Six people were injured when two low-intensity time-bombs exploded in internet cafes at Garhi Shahu and Shahdara’s Begumkot locality in Lahore, on Saturday, July 17, 2010.

According to press reports, the two blasts occurred within a span of 10 minutes. The first explosion took place at “Crown internet café”, Garhi Shahu at 4:10pm, which created a crater and left three people injured. The injured, Hassan Arif, 22, Kashif Arif and Awais were taken to the hospitals. The windowpanes, computers, accessories and furniture were destroyed in the time-device blast. The owner of Crown Net Cafe, Arshad, said he had received two text messages from unknown numbers in which the sender had threatened to explode the cafe. The Crown plaza had a few internet clubs, an office of a music group, cell phone shops and other businesses. Civil Lines division Superintendent of police (SP) Dr Haider Ashraf said that around 400g explosive was used in Garhi Shahu blast and the device was apparently attached with the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer.

The second blast occurred at “Fast Internet Café” at BegumKot, after ten minutes of the first blast, injuring the owner Naveed Khan, 35, net users Haider Ali, 24, and Attique Khan, 40, who were shifted to the Mayo Hospital Lahore. The cafe was completely destroyed and valuables were damaged in the blast that also created a crater. City division Superintendent of police (SP) Faisal Gulzar quoted Khan as saying an explosion took place as soon as he entered password in the main computer.

The police teams closed all internet cafes in the city following the blasts. Heavy contingents of police reached the sites of the blasts soon after the explosions and cordoned off the areas by placing barriers.

Some media organisations also received a text message from unknown numbers a few minutes before the twin blasts.

An organisation by the name of Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz-e-Haqooq-e-Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the blasts and termed it a move against immoral activities at net cafes.

The text of the SMS sent after the blasts reads: Now when blasts have occurred, we request the media to check hard disks of internet cafe computers to decide whether what we did was wrong or right. We also warn the Punjab University teachers against blackmailing female students in the name of thesis approval. Otherwise, they would have to face target killings. It must be understood clearly that we do whatever we say.”

The message further stated, “We accept the responsibility of blasts. Such internet cafes which are involved in obscenity must mend their ways. We are thankful to traders of Hall Road who have decided to discontinue porn CDs business. The government must stop obscenity and must not test our patience.”

Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Aslam Tareen said that the latest blasts were the handiwork of “extremist elements who want to scare people”.

Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)