At least four people were killed and 18 others wounded in a mysterious blast in Lahore’s Bedian Road area on Wednesday, police and rescue sources said.
An unnamed police official said the explosion was caused when a suicide bomber blew himself up near an army vehicle. However, initial reports claimed it was a cylinder blast.
The Punjab government tweeted that the exact nature of the blast is being ascertained.
The police official said the blast hit a vehicle taking part in the ongoing census. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.
Rescue sources claimed four Pakistan Army soldiers and two civilians lost their lives in the blast. However, the information has not been officially confirmed.
What we know so far
4 killed, at least 18 injured in blast
Nature of blast is not clear as yet
Police official claims it was a suicide blast
The explosion led to a fire that engulfed the cars parked nearby. Security forces have cordoned off the area and started a search operation.
The injured have been shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and General Hospital. Three of the injured are said to be in a critical condition.
An emergency has been declared in the hospitals of Lahore.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his condolences on the loss of lives in the blast.
The premier paid tribute to the army personnel “who were targeted while performing their duties during the national census”.
He directed the authorities concerned to extend all requisite assistance to the provincial government.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif “strongly condemned” the incident and directed authorities to submit a report regarding the blast.
The incident follows a string of terror episodes across the country.
An explosion in an under-construction cafe in Lahore’s Defence Housing Authority area killed 10 people in February. Initially said to be a bomb blast, the Punjab government later declared that the blast was an ‘accident’ caused by a cylinder explosion.
The Pakistan Army launched military operation Raddul Fasaad across the country days after a terror attack near the Punjab Assembly in Lahore left at least 13 people dead and 85 others injured.
This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.