Ex­plo­sion kills at least 26, in­jures dozens in Pak­istan

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

La­hore, Pak­istan - An ex­plo­sion claimed by the Pak­istani Tal­iban killed at least 26 peo­ple and in­jured dozens in a busy veg­etable mar­ket in the Pak­istani city of La­hore on Mon­day. The pow­er­ful blast blew out win­dows in nearby build­ings.

“The ex­plo­sion seems like a sui­cide blast tar­get­ing po­lice, but we are still as­cer­tain­ing the na­ture of the ex­plo­sion,” the city’s com­mis­sioner Ab­dul­lah Khan Sum­bul said. He said at least 26 peo­ple had been killed and over 50 wounded.

Mean­while a spokesman for the La­hore po­lice, Syed Ham­mad Shah, also put the toll at 26 dead with over 50 in­jured.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan warned the toll could rise in a press con­fer­ence held min­utes af­ter the at­tack.

Most of the ca­su­al­ties were po­lice of­fi­cers and some by­standers, he said.

Pro­vin­cial law min­is­ter Rana Sanaullah also said the na­ture of the blast was not con­firmed, but said it had ap­peared to tar­get a veg­etable mar­ket crowded with shop­pers. The Tehreek-e-Tal­iban Pak­istan (TTP) later claimed credit for the blast in a state­ment.

La­hore has been hit by sig­nif­i­cant mil­i­tant at­tacks in Pak­istan’s war on ex­trem­ism, but they have been less fre­quent in re­cent years. The last ma­jor blast in the city was in March last year, when 75 were killed and hun­dreds in­jured in a bomb tar­get­ing Chris­tians cel­e­brat­ing Easter Sun­day in a park.

A bomb also killed 14 peo­ple in La­hore in Fe­bru­ary dur­ing a wave of at­tacks across the coun­try. In April, seven were killed in an at­tack in the city tar­get­ing a team that was car­ry­ing out the coun­try’s long over­due cen­sus.

Pak­istan’s se­cu­rity has dra­mat­i­cally im­proved since the army cracked down on mil­i­tancy in the wake of the coun­try’s dead­li­est ever at­tack in 2014.

(AFP)

Pak­istani se­cu­rity of­fi­cials at the site of an ex­plo­sion in La­hore on Mon­day

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