LAHORE – At least nine policemen were among the 26 people killed in a possible suicide blast near Arfa Karim IT Tower on Lahore’s Ferozepur Road on Monday afternoon, city’s police chief has confirmed.
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Capital City Police Officer Capt (r) Muhammad Amin Wains told the media that the “actual target of the terror strike was the police “. He also confirmed that it was a suicide blast.
However, Punjab government spokesperson Malik Mohammad Ahmed said the car bomb struck an old vegetable market in the neighbourhood of Kot Lakhpat on Lahore’s outskirts on Monday.
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.
Police sources told Daily Pakistan that the bombing targeted policemen who were providing security for demolition work at an old building nearby.
The injured cops were taken to nearby hospitals including Lahore General Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, Services Hospital and Sheikh Zayed Hospital.
They include ASI Muzaffar Ali and constables Abubakar, Zaheer Hussain, Tariq Ali, Ashfaq and Naveed.
An anti-encroachment drive by Lahore Development Authority was underway in the area when the explosion took place. The anti-riot police officials were deployed for the drive.
Two vehicles, including one motorcycle, have reportedly been damaged in the incident.
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 the explosion will be confirmed.
The provincial metropolis has seen a series of terrorist attack in recent months. A suicide blast on February 13 ripped through the camp of protesting chemists in front of the Punjab Assembly, leaving 13 people dead and 70 others wounded.
Last year, in a terrorist attack in Iqbal Park targeting those celebrating Easter, 72 people had died and over 300 had been injured.