Blast near Lahore’s Data Darbar kills 9

Blast near Lahore’s Data Darbar kills 9

LAHORE: At least nine people, including six security personnel, were killed when an Elite Force vehicle was targeted by a suicide bomber in Lahore, Pakistan on Wednesday, the Express Tribune reported.
Three civilians were among the slain and 21 people were injured in the attack. Police sources confirmed that the Elite Force vehicle was the target.
The attack occurred near the entrance gate for female visitors to Data Darbar, one of the largest Sufi shrines built in the 11th century in South Asia.
The shrine has been targeted in 2010 by a suicide attack that killed more than 40 people, and since then is guarded by heavy security.
The injured were shifted to Mayo hospital, confirmed Rescue 1122 officials.
The area was cordoned off as rescue services transferred the injured to medical facilities and security officials started an investigation into the incident.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar cancelled his visit to Bhakkar and summoned higher police officials and officials of Safe Cities Authority.
The chief minister also asked the Punjab IG to submit a report on the incident.
“We will bring the elements involved in the attack to justice,” said Punjab IG Arif Nawaz and added that a crackdown continues across Punjab against militant outfits.
“All departments including the Counter Terrorism Department are working. We won’t spare any efforts for the security of the citizens,” added another police official.
The forensic staff began collecting evidence from the blast site and an emergency was imposed in hospitals across Lahore.
Additional pickets have been set up across the provincial capital and security has been heightened after the blast, said Operations DIG Waqaruddin Syed.
“Unauthorised personnel will not be allowed to enter the Red Zone,” said the DIG and added that citizens can enter the area if they show their national identification cards.
Condemnation
Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly denounced the blast and sought a report from the authorities, Radio Pakistan reported.
The premier commiserated with the bereaved families and directed the concerned authorities to provide the best possible medical treatment to those injured in the blast.
Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has also condoled with the victims of the blast.
“Those who target shrines are the enemies of Islam and Pakistan. They conspire to create instability in our country,” she said.
An attack in Lahore in March last year left nine people dead, while a major blast targeted Christians celebrating Easter in a park in 2016. More than 70 people were killed in the attack.
Agencies