Three killed, 25 injured in blast at Lahore’s Anarkali market
Lahore, Jan. 20 (PTI): A powerful blast on Thursday ripped through a crowded market where Indian commodities are sold in Pakistan’s cultural capital here, killing at least three persons and wounding 25 others, police said.
Lahore police spokesperson Rana Arif confirmed the death of three persons in the blast that shattered windows of nearby shops and buildings, Dawn newspaper reported.
According to police, the blast took place near the Paan Mandi in the famous Anarkali market, where Indian commodities are sold.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast so far.
Lahore Deputy Commissioner Umer Sher Chattha said that the explosive material was planted in a motorcycle which was parked outside a bank in the area.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the blast and urged authorities to provide the best medical facilities to the injured. He also sought a report from the Punjab government.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has directed the inspector general of police to submit a report on the incident. He also directed officials to provide the injured with the best possible medical facilities.
“This incident is aimed at sabotaging the atmosphere of law and order. Those responsible for the blast will not be able to escape the clutches of the law,” he said.
“We are ascertaining the nature of the blast,” Deputy Inspector General Police Operation Dr Mohammad Abid told reporters at the site of the blast near Lahore’s historic Walled City.
“The crater at the blast site indicated the possibility of a time device. However, at this stage we can’t confirm this,” he said.
The Counter Terrorism Department and Bomb Disposal Squad officials are examining the nature of the blast, he said.
Over 25 people have been injured in the blast and shifted to hospitals.
According to the Rescue 1122, the injured have been shifted to the Mayo Hospital where two succumbed to their injuries.
Mayo Hospital medical superintendent Dr Iftikhar said that two persons including a boy succumbed to their wounds. He said the condition of four injured brought to the hospital is critical.
A good number of motorcycles and vendors’ stalls were also damaged in the blast.
Police have cordoned off the area. The whole Anarkali Bazaar is shut after the blast.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Political Communication Shahbaz Gill said that the enemy takes such steps to spread chaos and uncertainty in an effort to damage the economy.
Punjab’s former chief minister and opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said that an incident of terrorism in Lahore, following one in Islamabad was not a good omen for the country.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of precious lives in a blast in Lahore’s historical and lively area of Anarkali,” he tweeted. PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that a blast in an area like Anarkali was incredibly sad and disturbing.