LAHORE: At least nine people, including five police personnel, were martyred and over a dozen others injured in a suicide blast on the outskirts of Lahore on Wednesday night.
According to DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf, the explosion occurred near a police camp, set up for the security of the annual congregation of Tableeghi Jamaat in Raiwind.
“The police appear to be the target [of the attack],” he said.
Asharf said two sub-inspectors and three constables were among the martyred while the injured include Raiwind ASP and SHO.
“It looks like a suicide blast… body parts of the bomber have also been recovered,” said the police officer.
The injured were shifted to the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital (THQ) Raiwind, where some of them were listed in a critical condition, triggering fears that the death toll might go up.
‘Security high alert’
Meanwhile, IG Punjab Captain (retd) Arif Nawaz Khan has directed to declare a security high alert in the province. Khan has asked the CCPO Lahore and all RPOs and DPOs to strengthen security in their respective regions and districts.
He also directed to intensify operations of search, sweep, combing and intelligence, while increase security for sensitive installations, educational institutes, places of worships and markets.
The IG directed all officers to ensure implementation of all security SOPs [standard operating procedures] released. He also directed the CCPO to ensure that best medical treatment is provided to the personnel and officers injured.
The top officer also directed further tightening the process of checking and monitoring at the entry and exit routes of the metropolis. He directed that all measures be taken to ensure safety of the lives and property of the masses.
Defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
Trail of terror attacks
This is the first incident of such nature in Lahore this year, however, almost 60 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks in 2017.
At least 45 people were injured in an explosion in a fruit truck stationed in a parking lot on Band Road in August.
In July, 26 people, including nine policemen, were martyred and 58 others injured in a suicide hit on Ferozepur Road.
In April, six people including army personnel were killed in a suicide attack on a census team on Bedian Road.
On February 13, over two dozen people including two senior police officers were killed in a suicide blast on Mall Road.