Blast in Pakistan's Lahore kills at least 8, wounds 25: Media
May 8, 2019 11:27 AM NPT
Photo Courtesy: DAWN
LAHORE, May 8: At least eight people — five policemen and three civilians — were killed and 25 others injured in what officials described as a suicide bombing targeting an Elite Force van parked near the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore on Wednesday, according to media reports.
The blast took place at 8:45am close to a police mobile near Gate 2 of the Data Darbar shrine, one of the country's most visited shrines. Police suspect the blast was a suicide attack. An initial probe has revealed that the bomb contained 7 kilograms of explosive material.
The impact of the blast shattered glass in nearby vehicles and buildings. DawnNewsTV reported that scared bystanders attempted to shield themselves from the impact of the blast by lying down for cover.
Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Arif Nawaz confirmed that five Elite Force officials were martyred in the blast. Three civilians also lost their lives in the attack.
He told reporters that the attack "100 percent targeted police", going on to explain that police are posted near the shrine to provide security around the clock.
The IGP said the attacker could have caused more damaged because of the direction he had approached from, but he instantly made a beeline for the police car routinely stationed in the area for protection of the shrine.
SP City Division Syed Ghazanfar Shah said that eight of the people injured in the blast are in critical condition. The wounded have been shifted to the Mayo Hospital. Punjab Health Secretary Saqib Zafar is also at the hospital, where an emergency has been imposed.
A police vehicle was badly damaged in blast near Data Darbar in Lahore.
A rescue operation was conducted in the area before it was cordoned off for investigation.
A heavy contingent of police, Counter-Terrorism Department and forensic officials are collecting evidence from and investigating the site of the attack. The IGP said police will share their findings once they conclude their probe.
Entry to Data Darbar has been restricted, and devotees who were inside the shrine have been evacuated from a back door.
All regional police officers and city police officers have been directed to examine security in their respective areas and remain alert during the month of Ramazan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the loss of precious lives in the attack, and condoled the loss of the victims’ families.
According to DIG Operations, 306 police officials in the city have lost their lives in the line of duty.