Lahore, July 24 (IANS) At least 25 people were killed and dozens injured on Monday when a suicide bomber exploded himself near an IT Park in Pakistan’s Lahore city, officials said.
The deafening explosion, which authorities blamed on a suicide bomber, occurred at the entrance of the Kot Lakhpat Vegetable Market on Ferozepur Road.
A Punjab government spokesperson said 25 people had lost their lives and 39 were injured.
“No words can express the grief which grips my heart now,” Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said.
Minutes after the attack, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan put the death toll at 14 and said the toll may rise.
Senior police official Imran Awan said the injured had been shifted to the Jinnah Hospital and other hospitals. Several of the injured were in critical condition, Geo News reported.
According to Awan, an anti-encroachment drive was underway at the vegetable market near Arfa Karim Software Technology Park when the explosion took place.
A fire erupted after the explosion. Glass panes of nearby buildings were shattered.
The area where the blast took place is supposed to be one of the most secure neighbourhoods of Lahore, just 100 metres from the Chief Minister office.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said security forces were trying to ascertain the target.
Lahore has been in the centre of terror attacks. A suicide blast on February 13 ripped through a crowd of protesting chemists in front of the Punjab Assembly, leaving 13 people dead and 70 others wounded.
Last year, a suicide bomber killed 72 people at the Gulshan Iqbal Park.