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Blast near provincial assembly in Lahore, at least 16 killed

Two senior police officers, including a former provincial counterterrorism chief, were among those killed.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
February 13, 2017 7:29:06 pm
blast, lahore, lahore blast, blast in lahore, lahore blast news, pakistan, pakistan blast, pakistan news Lahore : Police and security officers cordon off the area of a deadly bombing, in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. AP/PTI Photo

A large bomb blast ripped through a protest rally in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Monday, killing at least 16 people and wounding nearly 60 in an attack claimed by a breakaway Taliban faction.The blast occurred when a man on a motorcycle rammed into the crowd of hundreds of pharmacists, who were protesting new amendments to a law governing drug sales, local police official Zaheer Abbas said. He added that two senior police officers, including a former provincial counterterrorism chief, were among those killed.

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According to Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, the Lahore Blast was a suicide attack. Lahore Traffic Police chief capt (R) Mobeen Ahmed and Senior Superintendent Police Lahore Zahid Gondal were killed in the blast that targeted police personnel.

“Deputy Inspector General and Lahore police chief Mobeen Ahmed has been killed in the blast,” Lahore police chief Amin Wains confirmed. He, however, did not confirm about other casualties. “I can confirm the death of Mr Ahmed at the moment,” Wains said. DIG Ahmed had survived an attempt to his life during his posting in Balochistan.

Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique said more than 60 people suffered injuries. The condition of some 11 injured is stated to be critical, the minister said.

A Lahore police officer told PTI that apparently it was a suicide attack and the bomber targeted the police personnel present there. “The target was not the protest demonstration but the police officers,” he added.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanullah confirmed that it was suicide blast and ‘some police officers’ have been killed. The blast was so powerful that it was heard several kilometers from the place of occurrence.

“The 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,” said Ishtiaq Ahmed, a representative of the Lahore Chemist Association.

No other details were immediately available. Lahore was the site of an Easter Day bombing last year that killed more than 70 people in a public park.

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