At least nine people were killed and 26 others injured in what officials described as a suicide bombing targeting an Elite Force van detailed to the security of the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore on Wednesday.
The blast took place at 8:45 am in the proximity of the police mobile, which was parked near Gate 2 of Data Darbar, one of the country’s most visited shrines. Police officials said that they suspect the blast was a suicide attack and that the police mobile was the target. An initial probe has revealed that the bomb contained seven kilograms of explosive material.
Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Arif Nawaz confirmed that five Elite Force personnel were martyred in the blast. The wounded have been shifted to Mayo Hospital, where an emergency has been imposed.
A rescue operation was conducted in the area before it was cordoned off for investigation. The shrine was evacuated, with devotees moved out through exits away from the blast site. Entry to Data Darbar has since been restricted.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar condemned the attack and ordered an inquiry into the incident. He offered his condolences to the families of the victims and instructed administrations to provide the injured with the best facilities for treatment.