At least 16 people, including two top police officers, were killed and nearly 60 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a protest rally outside the Punjab Assembly building in eastern Pakistan.
According to Pak news website Dwan, the Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Lahore Traffic Police chief capt Mobeen Ahmed and Senior Superintendent Police Lahore Zahid Gondal were killed in the blast that targeted police personnel.
â€œDeputy Inspector General and Lahore police Chief Mobeen Ahmed has been killed in the blast,â€ Lahore police chief Amin Wains confirmed.
He, however, did not confirm about other casualties. â€œI can confirm the death of Mr Ahmed at the moment,â€ Wains said.
DIG Ahmed had survived an attempt to his life during his posting in Balochistan.
A Lahore police officer told PTI that apparently it was a suicide attack and the bomber targeted the police personnel present there. â€œThe target was not the protest demonstration but the police officers,â€ he added.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanullah confirmed that it was suicide blast and â€˜some police officersâ€™ have been killed.
The blast was so powerful that it was heard several kilometers from the place of occurrence.
â€œThe chemists were protesting against the controversial drug regulations the government has recently imposed when a powerful blast took place. Several protesters were lying on the road before the rescuers shifted them,â€ said Ishtiaq Ahmed, a representative of the Lahore Chemist Association.Â
As it happened:Â
#Casualties feared in a blast on Quetta'sâ€™s Sariab Road: Pakistan media (9:50PM)
#Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah says Lahore Blast was a suicide attack, reports Pakistan media (7:35PM)
Visuals from the site: At least 7 including police officials killed, several injured after bomb blast at Lahoreâ€™s Mall Road area: Pak media pic.twitter.com/2coSm7Nuwsâ€” ANI (@ANI_news) February 13, 2017
#At least seven including police officials killed, several injured after bomb blast at Lahoreâ€™s Mall Road area, Pakistan media reports say. (7:20PM)
#DIG Traffic Lahore Captain Mubeen was killed while several others were injured as an explosion rocked Lahore cityâ€™s Mall Road on Monday, ARY News reported.
With PTI Inputs