LAHORE – At least 26 people were killed and more than 50 others wounded in an explosion on Ferozepur Road near Arfa Karim IT Tower on Monday afternoon, police said.
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Lahore police chief Capt (r) Amin Wains said the “police were the target”. He also confirmed that it was a suicide blast. However, sources believe it was a car bomb attack.
According to Rescue 1122, nine policemen are among those who lost their lives in the blast. The area where the explosion occurred is a busy locality near the office of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The chief minister was in a meeting at his Model Town office when the blast took place.
“Police and Lahore Development Authority officials were busy in removing encroachments outside the Arfa Karim Tower, located near the CM’s Model Town residence when a powerful blast took place,” Rescue 1122 Jam Sajjad told Daily Pakistan.
“The condition of several injured is stated to be critical,” the official added.
Three motorcycles and at least one vehicle have been reported damaged in the explosion. The identity of the victims has not yet been ascertained as of yet. Lahore’s Metro Bus also passes near the IT tower.
Police and other law enforcement personnel have reached the site of the incident and cordoned off the area. Forensics teams have started collecting evidence from the blast site, after which the nature of explosion will be confirmed.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the Lahore suicide blast and voiced grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives.
Speaking to media in Lahore, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanuallah said it was premature to say whether it was a suicide blast.
“So far I can confirm that five people have died and 25 injured in the explosion”, he added.
We will not be deterred by such dastardly acts. Pakistan will continue to progress … pic.twitter.com/G4pnktpl6r
— Umar Saif (@umarsaif) July 24, 2017
— Raza Mehdi (@SyedRezaMehdi) July 24, 2017
— Govt Of The Punjab (@GovtOfPunjab) July 24, 2017
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More info to follow...