Pakistan: 14 killed, over 80 injured in suicide bomb blast in Lahore
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the attacks would not weaken Pakistan�s resolve in the fight against militancy.
In a brazen suicide bomb blast, nearly 13 people were killed and over 80 injured in Lahore. The Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) took the responsibility of the attack.
On Monday evening, a suicide bomber struck police escorting a protest rally in Lahore on Monday. The blast ripped through the crowd of hundreds of pharmacists, who were protesting new amendments to a law governing drug sales. Six police officers, including a former provincial counterterrorism chief, were among those killed, police said.
Police initially said the attacker was on a motorcycle, but provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah later said that closed-circuit footage revealed the bomber was on foot.
At least 13 people were killed and 85 injured when a suicide bomber struck Monday evening around 6pm outside the Punjab Assembly in Lahore during a protest, police officials said. The explosion was so powerful that it rocked the entire area and was heard even five kilometers away. The windowpanes of nearby buildings were shattered and the DSNG van of AAJ TV, the bomber had struck close to, completely wrecked. Two more DSNG vans were partially damaged. AAJ TV cameraman Abdur Rehman was injured.
The Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
A large group of chemists and pharmaceutical manufacturers were gathered in front of the provincial assembly to protest a government crackdown against the sale of illegal drugs. There was a significant presence of law enforcers in the area while the protest was ongoing. Around 400 people had attended the protest, according to an AFP reporter who was on the scene when the explosion occurred.
Rescue services, including ambulances and fire tenders, reached the scene soon after the attack. An emergency was also declared in all hospitals of Lahore. Most of the casualties had been shifted to Mayo Hospital and Ganga Ram Hospital.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the attacks would not weaken Pakistan’s resolve in the fight against militancy.
“We have fought this fight against the terrorists among us, and will continue to fight it until we liberate our people of this cancer, and avenge those who have laid down their lives for us,”the statement said. He directed the Punjab government to provide all possible assistance to the injured.