Blast near Sufi shrine in Lahore kills at least 8 people

At least eight people were killed and 25 injured in a suicide bombing targeting a police patrol near a Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s Lahore city on Wednesday, police said.

Five police officers were among those killed in the blast near the Data Darbar Sufi shrine, one of the largest in South Asia, Dawn online reported.

The explosion, which occurred at around 8.45 a.m., targeted a Elite Force of Punjab Police vehicle parked near the shrine’s Gate 2, the entrance for female visitors.

“Eight people, including five policemen, were killed and 25 are injured, including police officials,” Punjab Police chief Arif Nawaz Khan told the media. He added that the police were “100 per cent” the target of the attack.

The impact of the blast shattered windows in nearby vehicles and buildings, bystanders said.

Police spokesperson Nayab Haider told Geo News that initial investigation suggested that the incident was a suicide bombing and the bomb contained seven kg of explosive material.

No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Lahore Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed told the media that one of the bodies brought to a hospital was that of the suspected attacker.

Entry to the Data Darbar was sealed in the aftermath of the attack and security measures were heightened at religious sites in the city in the month of Ramzan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan “expressed grief over the loss of precious lives”.

Data Darbar, which dates back to the 11th century, was also targeted in a 2010 suicide attack that killed more than 40 people.

(IANS)