Lahore, Mar 14 (PTI) A powerful blast tonight near the residence of Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif here killed at least eight persons, including four policemen, police said.
The blast took place close to a police check post, a few kilometers from the palatial residence of the Sharif family and close to the congregation of the Tableeghi Jamaat.
At least eight persons, including four policemen, lost their lives and 20 others have been injured in the suicide blast which targeted a police check post in Raiwind on the outskirts of Lahore, said Punjab Health Minister Salman Rafique.
Rescue 1122 spokesman Jam Sajjad said the Rescue ambulances are shifting the injured to the Sharif medical complex and other nearby hospitals.
Deputy Inspector General Police Lahore Dr Haider Ashraf said the condition of some policemen is critical.
Ashraf said the explosion occurred near a police camp in Raiwind.
“The police appear to be the target,” he said.
It was such a powerful blast that its sound was heard several kilometers from the site. A fire ball was seen after the blast at the Nisar Police Check Post.
No militant group has claimed the responsibility of the blast so far.
Pakistan Rangers quick response force has reached the spot and cordoned off the area.
Meanwhile, IG Punjab Captain (retd) Arif Nawaz Khan has directed to declare a security high alert in the province.
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.
One of the largest gathering of religious devotees is held in Raiwind every year and is currently underway.
Thousands of people from Punjab and across the country participate in the Raiwind Ijtema (congregation).
This is the first explosion targeting the provincial capital in 2018. Lahore experienced multiple terror attacks in 2017 that killed more than 60 people.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.