Taliban claims Pakistan blast, death toll jumps to 25

Pakistan       by Sarfraz Ali | Published

At least 26 people were killed and 49 others injured as a suicide blast hit the downtown area of Pakistan's eastern city Lahore Monday afternoon, officials said.

Imran Nazir said that 13 bodies were shifted to the Jinnah Hospital, nine to the General Hospital and four to the Ittefaq Hospital.

The incident took place in Lahore, at a vegetable market at the entrance of the Arfa Software Technology Park, a city landmark.

The attack targeted police assisting in a drive to clear the Ferozepur Road, a main road in Pakistan's second city, of illegal construction and street vendors on Monday, provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told media.

Officials told the Reuters news agency that the explosion was a suicide bombing.

A bomb also killed 14 people in Lahore in February during a wave of attacks across the country, denting optimism that Pakistan's security situation was improving. At least three of the deceased people are policemen, he added. CM Sharif is the brother of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

However, no group has claimed responsibility for the blast yet.

The blast occurred close to the Arfa Karim IT Tower.

"Blast destroyed many families but terrorists can never destroy our resolve", Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said. Emergency was declared in city hospitals.

The area where the blast took place is supposed to be one of the most secure neighbourhoods of Lahore, just 100 metres from the Chief Minister's office. He directed authorities to provide all possible medical assistance. "We are collecting evidence, and it could be a suicide attack. right now, we can confirm 12 people have been killed, including policemen and civilians". And they are investigating now whether it a terror attack or an accident.

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