Land trade halted, retreat ceremony suspended at Wagah after suicide blast

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Land trade halted, retreat ceremony suspended at Wagah suicide blast
Attari (Punjab), Nov 3: Land border trade between India and Pakistan was halted Monday following a suicide bomb attack at Wagah in Pakistan that left 60 people dead Sunday evening. Also, beating retreat ceremony at the Wagah border has been suspended for three days from Monday, at the request of Pakistan, said a Rediff report.

Customs officials here said that there was no trade activity from either side Monday following's Sunday's blast that left over a 100 injured.Every evening, just before sunset, the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers across the border, lower the flags of respective countries to close the border post in a well-known ceremony.

(Read more: Wagah: 60 die in suicide attack in Pakistani side)

The Sunday's blast happened minutes after the ceremony.

BSF chief DK Pathak who spoke to his officers on Sunday evening to assess the situation, said the BSF had received intelligence inputs about a fortnight ago that terror groups could try to carry out a possible strike during the beating retreat ceremony.

"We were already alert in this area as we have received some inputs some time back that this area could be targeted. After the blast, we have alerted our formations along this frontier," Pathak told PTI.

He said his formations had told him that the blast occurred about 500 metres from the Wagah border retreat ceremony area on Sunday evening. 

"The Pakistani Rangers initially told us that there was a cylinder blast in a tea stall but now it has emerged to be a fidayeen attack. We are not very sure about the exact reasons," he had said soon after the blast.

The trading activity between the two enemy countries is likely to remain suspended for another two days.

Hundreds of trucks from both countries carry products, including fruits and vegetables, through the land border trade.

Security on the Indian side remained on high alert following the blast.

Oneindia News

(With agency inputs)

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