| GEO Pakistan|
| Lahore attacks leave over 80 dead|
| Updated at: 1841 PST, Friday, May 28, 2010|
LAHORE: Gunmen attacked worshippers from a minority sect in two worship places of Lahore on Friday, taking hostages and killing over 80 people, officials said.
The gunmen opened fire shortly after prayers and threw what could have been grenades at two Ahmadi worship places in residential neighbourhoods.
More than 80 people had been killed in the twin attacks in Garhi Shahu and Model Town while about 95 others were injured.
The death toll at Garhi Shahu was higher, Bhutta said, because three attackers blew themselves up with suicide vests packed with explosives when police tried to enter the building.
Police are still searching the area as two attackers were still at large.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the incidents would generate greater resolve to combat extremism.
"It's a reminder to the nation that Pakistan will achieve its destiny only after we get rid of the worst type of extremism and fundamentalism," he told a news conference. "The entire nation will fight this evil."
He said one attacker had been arrested. Police in Model Town confirmed one gunmen had been arrested and another killed.
Punjab's Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the arrested attacker was a teenage Pashtun. This, he said, indicated a link to the tribal area of Waziristan and strongly hinted at a Taliban link.
"The prayer leader was giving a sermon when we heard firing and blasts. Everybody stood up and then two gunmen barged into the mosque and sprayed bullets," Fateh Sharif, a 19-year-old student, told from Model Town.
"They had long beards. They were carrying rucksacks."
Bhutta said a suicide vest laden with explosives was recovered from the Model Town, where some attackers escaped. One fired at a television van before the area was made safe.
Witnesses said the assaults were launched shortly after prayers.
"I saw some gunmen run towards the Ahmadis' place of worship and then I heard blasts and gunfire," said Mohammad Nawaz, a resident.
Stock market investors shrugged off the latest violence.
"Initially we saw some selling after the attack but investors started accumulating shares at lower levels," said Asad Iqbal, chief executive at Faysal Asset Management Ltd adding that there was foreign buying which boosted local confidence.
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index was up 0.75 percent at 9,511.75 points at 4:05 pm.