At least nine people were killed and 30 others injured, six of them seriously, when a powerful explosion took place in an under-construction building in Lahore’s busy Defence Y block area Thursday. Sources said that explosive of 15-20-k.g., was used in the explosion which took place at 11.12 a.m.
The area where the blast occurred is a busy locality with several commercial offices and eateries. After the blast, windows of nearby buildings were shattered by shockwaves and shrapnel. Windscreens of cars parked over 100 feet away from the blast scene were damaged.
Law Enforcement personnel arrested three suspects from the area, who were stated to be Afghan nationals. They were shifted to unknown place. Panic gripped the provincial metropolis and management of educational institutions allowed students to go home.
After the incident, the market area was sealed by law enforcement personnel for a search operation. Teams from the Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory also rushed to collect evidence.
Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has condemned in strongest possible terms the explosion in the Defense area of Lahore and expressed his heartfelt grief and sorrow over the loss of the lives.
He directed the health authorities to provide the best medical treatment to the injured persons. He also directed the senior officers of the Health department to personally monitor the medical facilities provided to the injured persons.
Ordering investigation into the explosion, he sought a report from the Inspector General Police and directed him to arrest those involved in the incident. The chief minister said the heartless beasts who have killed the innocent people will never be able to escape punishment and those who have targeted the innocent people deserve no leniency and they will get exemplary punishment.
The chief minister said all sympathies of the Punjab government are with the bereaved families. He said the whole nation is united against terrorism and terrorists cannot shatter determination of the nation through such coward acts.
After the blast, emergency was declared in the Lahore General Hospital (LGH). The Punjab Minister for Specialized Health and Medical Education Khawaja Salman Rafique rushed to the hospital and supervised relief and emergency work.
Talking to reporters, Salman said that senior and young doctors, paramedical staff and other support staff are available in the hospital and taking care of injured. Condition of two is critical. He also enquired after the health of injured and prayed for their early recovery.
The PML-N senior leader Muhammad Pervaiz Malik also visited the Lahore General Hospital to enquire after the health of injured.
Talking to media, Malik said the government is determined to maintain law & order and provide security to people being its prime responsibility. “NACTA has been upgraded, rangers have been called and there is close coordination among all agencies and with the help of people, we would defeat the terrorists,” he said.
After the incident, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah chaired a high level meeting which reviewed the law & order situation.