Lahore: A day after Pakistan army announced a countrywide crackdown against terrorists, a massive blast rocked parts of Lahore city which resulted in killing of at least 10 persons killed and over 20 wounded today.
According to local police, a powerful explosion targeted the Defence Housing Authority along with a commercial area with scores of eateries, including restaurants serving Indian cuisine.
A spokesman for Punjab police said, government authorities initially claimed that the blast was the result of a “generator explosion”, later said the explosion was caused by a bomb.
Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique told media persons, “Ten people were killed as a result of the explosion in Lahore’s Defence area today (Thursday),” adding that forensic teams were working on the case.
According to bomb disposal squad, a bomb was planted inside an under-construction building and detonated through a timing device. As much as eight to 10 kg of explosive material was used, the impact of the blast shattered windows of nearby buildings and vehicles.
However, there were reports of a second blast in Lahore’s Gulberg area but Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah denied it.
A day earlier, the military announced a massive urban counter-terrorism operation after a week of bombings in Punjab, Sindh, Fata, Khyber Pakhtunwa and Balochistan claimed at least 100 lives.
The worst bombing took place at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh’s Sehwan town last week when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the shrine, killing 90 people.
At least 13 people in Lahore on February 13th, including top police officials, were killed and dozens injured in suicide attack near the Punjab Assembly.
No militant group claimed the responsibility for Thursday’s attack, but the series of bombing in the past week has been claimed by the Jamat-ul-Ahrar group – a splinter group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.