Huge blast kills 20 in Lahore park (Lead, Changing dateline)

Lahore, March 27 (IANS) Around 20 people were killed when a powerful explosion devastated one of the main gates of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park here on Sunday evening, officials said.

The deafening explosion — apparently caused by a suicide bomber — hit gate no.1 around 6.30 p.m. when the park was teeming with families, specially women and children, dazed witnesses said.

More than 100 people were injured and rushed to hospitals, where many of them were said to be in critical condition, The Nation and Dawn newspapers said.

Witnesses were quoted as saying that there were pools of blood and scattered body parts in the park.

Rescuers, including police, and more than 20 ambulances rushed to the park and began ferrying the wounded.

ARY News said 5-6 kg of explosives may have been used in the explosion, which was heard in a large part of Lahore, capital of Punjab province.

Samaa News said the explosion took place inside the parking stand located near the main gate of the park.

Some reports said the bomb might have been fixed on a parked motorbike.

Xinhua said the injured were shifted to Sheikh Zaid hospital where several of them were said to be in critical condition.

An emergency was declared in all government hospitals in Lahore. Police cordoned off the park.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the terrorist attack.

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