Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

One killed, 20 injured as blast targets police in Raiwind

One killed, 20 injured as blast targets police in Raiwind

The blast occured near the residence of Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

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. He "sought a report from Inspector General Police" and directed the authorities to provide "best possible medical facilities and treatment to the injured persons", read a statement issued by the provincial government.

Jam Sajjad Hussain, spokesman of a state-run rescue service, told Reuters that his officials had taken seven dead bodies to hospitals.

Rescue 1122 teams shifted the injured policemen and civilians to nearby hospitals, where an emergency has been imposed.

Deputy Inspector General of police Haider Ashraf said the bomb exploded when the police were changing guards at the checkpoint just outside an annual religious congregation in Raiwind, where almost 80,000 people were in attendance.

Ashraf said numerous wounded were police and three were hospitalized in critical condition.

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It was such a powerful blast that its sound was heard several kilometres from the site.

The Taliban group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility, saying it was a suicide attack.

"The PSL semi-finals will be held in Lahore as per schedule as we have made all security arrangements in this regard", Ashraf said.

Pakistan Rangers quick response force has reached the spot and cordoned off the area.

The suicide attack has taken place a week before the semi-finals of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore. At least 9 people including security officials were killed and a dozen wounded in the incident.

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