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Ten killed as blast hits Lahore’s Defence

LAHORE, FEB 23: A view of destruction after an explosion occurred at an under construction plaza at Lahore’s Defence Z Block Market.=DNA PHOTO SINDHU

LAHORE: At least ten people were killed while 30 others sustained severe injuries in a blast at Z Block of Defence in Lahore Thursday.

According to details, the explosion occurred at an under construction plaza targeting Bombay Chowpatty outlet in the market. Windowpanes of several nearby shops have been shattered whereas vehicles parked near the plaza were got also affected.

Rescue teams and bomb disposal squad have arrived at the scene and shifted the injured to General Hospital while toll is likely to be escalated.

The security officers have besieged the entire area and launched an investigation into the matter whereas emergency has been declared at different hospitals. Police claimed that 8-10 kilograms of explosive material were used in the bomb blast. It was further disclosed by police that the bomb was placed inside the building and was detonated via a time device. An entire floor of the building collapsed because of the blast. Four cars and 12 motorcycles were also damaged, while the windows of nearby buildings were shattered. Witnesses said one vehicle was completely destroyed while windowpanes of nearby shops and offices were broken.

The explosion took place in the particularly affluent Defence Housing Authority suburb of the city, replete with upscale boutiques and cafes as well as an academy for the international hair salon Toni & Guy. Meanwhile, two suspicious people have also been arrested from the blast site. Talking to a private television channel, provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah lamented the mishap. He said that combing operation against the terrorists is successfully underway. In the aftermath of the explosion, all the major markets including Hafeez Center have been closed. Law enforcement agencies had evacuated the same market a few days ago over a bomb threat. Earlier, federal government approved request of Government of Punjab to deploy Pakistan Rangers in the province for 60 days to eliminate budding terror elements. The government moved a request to the federation after a suicide blast on February 13 outside Punjab Assembly claimed 14 lives including that of Deputy Inspector General of Traffic Police, Capt (r) Syed Mobin Ahmad. NNI

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