Pakistan: 9 killed, 25 injured in Lahore suicide bombing near Sufi shrine

8th May 2019
Pakistan: 9 killed, 25 injured in Lahore suicide bombing near Sufi shrine

By Aamir Latif

 

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA): At least nine people, including five police personnel, were killed and 25 others injured early Wednesday in a suicide blast near a Sufi shrine in the northeastern city of Lahore, officials and local media said.

The suspected bomber struck a police patrol van at a checkpoint outside the shrine of Sufi saint Data Gunj Bux, local broadcaster Dunya News reported, quoting officials. Police are posted near the shrine around the clock to provide security.

“Eight people including five police personnel are confirmed dead and 25 are injured,” Arif Nawaz, police chief of the Punjab province, told reporters.

King Edward Medical University Vice Chancellor Professor Khalid Gondal said the death toll had risen to nine, while the condition of four of the injured is critical. Some of the wounded have also been admitted to Mayo Hospital, where an emergency has been imposed.

Nawaz said the blast was act of a suicide bomber who acted alone.

Authorities fear the death toll will rise as several of the injured were said to be in critical condition, the broadcaster reported.

Footage aired by the broadcaster showed the mostly charred police vehicle lying on the road as rescuers shifted the injured and dead into ambulances.

Blood-soaked shoes, caps, pieces of clothing and splintered wood and glass littered the scene.

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the terrorist attack and directed security forces to expedite efforts to bring the culprits to justice, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s House.

Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said: “Those who target shrines are the enemies of Islam and Pakistan. The enemies conspire to create instability in our country.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Data Darbar, also known as Data Ganjh Bakhsh, is one of the country’s most popular Sufi shrines where Sufi saint Ali Hajveri is buried. Pakistanis in large numbers visit the shrine, where a pair of suicide attacks in July 2010 killed and wounded dozens of people.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Map of Pakistan showing Lahore]

 

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