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No Wagah border retreat ceremony post attack

No Wagah border retreat ceremony post attack
Highlights

No Wagah Border Retreat Ceremony Post Attack. The Border Security Force or BSF is on high alert along the Indo-Pak border in Punjab after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd across Amritsar\'s Wagah sector in Pakistan killing at least 55 people.

New Delhi: The Border Security Force or BSF is on high alert along the Indo-Pak border in Punjab after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd across Amritsar's Wagah sector in Pakistan killing at least 55 people.

BSF chief DK Pathak said there will be no beating retreat ceremony at the Wagah border for three days from Monday, at the request of Pakistan.

Just before sunset every day, India's BSF and the Pakistan Rangers across the border lower flags to close the border post in a ceremony that attracts huge crowds on both sides. The suicide bomber struck minutes after the flag-lowering ceremony. At least 55 people, including children, women and security personnel, were killed and about 200 others have been injured.

Mr 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," Mr Pathak said.

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 BSF chief said his officers in Punjab had already undertaken "coordination" meetings with all intelligence, security and state government authorities in the light of the inputs they had received.

The forces' Punjab Frontier Inspector General Ashok Kumar said the "blast was reported around 1810 hours and that all Indian locations were safe."

The BSF has asked its border posts and field commanders to mount additional vigil.

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