Bomb attack kills 9 near Pakistan's Lahore

One killed, 20 injured as blast targets police in Raiwind

A teenaged suicide bomber today blew himself up near the residence of Pakistans ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, killing nine people, including five policemen, police said.

Deputy Inspector General Police Lahore Dr Haider Ashraf said the condition of some policemen is critical. However, rescuers say it was a cylinder blast.

Rescue 1122 teams shifted the injured policemen and civilians to nearby hospitals, where an emergency has been imposed. According to the eyewitnesses, the blast was so powerful that it was heard at a long distance.

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in a WhatsApp message sent to a Reuters reporter.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and Station House Officer (SHO) were among four police who were wounded along with the locals.

"The police appear to be the target", he said, reports Express News.

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The senior police official stressed that if the suicide attacker had managed to enter the congregation site, the death toll could have been much higher.

The police camp was set up for the security of an ongoing congregation of Tableeghi Jamaat.

Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif condemned the attack and asked the authorities concerned to provide the best available medical treatment to the injured.

He also directed to intensify operations of search, sweep, combing and intelligence, while increase security for sensitive installations, educational institutes, places of worships and markets. The suicide attack has taken place a week before the semi-finals of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore. Lahore experienced multiple terror attacks in 2017 that killed more than 60 people.

This is the first explosion targeting the provincial capital in 2018.

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