Just last week, violence erupted at the Wagah border crossing which separates India from Pakistan. A suicide bomber killed more than 50 people and injured more than 100 at a widely popular military ceremony that takes place daily at Wagah, a major trade thoroughfare. The blast occurred on the Pakistani side of the border, in a nearby car park adjacent to the highly guarded border crossing.
Hundreds of people were there to watch a daily military ceremony involving both Indian and Pakistani forces. Border guards from each country dress in traditional uniforms and perform a stern, choreographed ceremony, goose-stepping around one another. It's a major attraction for locals and tourists alike, regularly drawing huge crowds. Bleachers in both countries are set up and crowds sit under giant banners that depict their respective founding fathers: Mahatma Gandhi (India) and Mohammed Ali Jinnah (Pakistan). Though tensions between the two countries remain incredibly high, this flag-lowering ceremony has taken place every day, except for interruptions during the 1965 and 1971 wars.
A few terrorist organizations have claimed responsibility for the attack, including Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a group that recently split off from the Pakistan Taliban. A spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar said this attack served as a retaliation for those killed at the hands of the Pakistani army in North Waziristan. Others are speculating that the attack was a deliberate attempt to derail India-Pakistan relations even further. Although Indian officials initially planned to suspend the ceremony following the attack, it went forward as normal on Monday.
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