Explosion claims 26 lives in Pakistan's city of Lahore
Iran Press TV
Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:18PM
A powerful explosion has claimed the lives of at least 26 people and injured dozens more in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.
The powerful explosion hit a bustling main road in the south of Lahore on Monday and blew out windows in nearby buildings.
Haider Ashraf, deputy inspector general of Punjab police, said the explosion took place when a bomber on a motorcycle struck near police guarding a demolition site at Kot Lakhpat's vegetable market on the outskirts of Lahore., adding that "police were the target."
He said the explosion killed at least 26 and injured 54 others, many of them police officers.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also said most of the casualties were police officers and some bystanders.
Rana Sanaullah, the home minister of Punjab province, said anti-state elements who want to see instability in the country were behind the attack.
"No matter what name they use, these terrorists are one but they cannot demoralize the Pakistani nation," said Sanaullah.
The bombing was claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, in a message sent to the media by its spokesman Muhammad Khurassani.
In a statement, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the blast and "directed for extending best possible medical treatment for the injured."
Bomb blasts by militants are common in Pakistan, especially in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. However, attacks in Lahore have become less frequent recently.
In early April, an attack on an army census team in Lahore killed at least six people and wounded 18 others.
A city of around ten million people, Lahore, the capital of Punjab Province, is Pakistan's cultural hub.
Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered an alliance with the US in the so-called war on terror. Thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country.
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