Lahore’s Johar Town blast kills 2 people, injures 17

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According to rescue officials, two people died, while at least 17 people were left wounded after a deadly explosion took place in Lahore’s Johar Town area.

People who have sustained injuries have been shifted to Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital via private cars and auto-rickshaws and the hospital is now urging blood donors to come forward so that the wounded can be treated timely.

An emergency has been declared in Jinnah Hospital to treat the injured and Rescue 1122 along with other relief organizations have been asked to speed up the rescue activities.

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The bombing occurred near the residence of anti-India militant leader Hafiz Seed, confirmed Punjab Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani. The police were guarding the house of Hafiz Saeed at the time of the attack, he added.

Hafiz has been designated a terrorist by the US Justice Department and has a $US10 million ($A13 million) bounty on his head.

Television footage of cracked walls and shattered windows of the nearby houses shows that the blast has caused visible damage. According to witnesses, one of the buildings has been severely harmed and vehicles parked at the site of the explosion have also been affected.

Ghani said that officials were currently assessing the damage. Though no compensation could be offered for the lives lost, the police would make sure that the perpetrators are held responsible, he assured.

A police picket was also present near the site of the incident and some police officials had also been injured, he revealed. He said that it is still not clear what caused the blast and the area is being cordoned off for investigation.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has taken notice of the blast and has ordered the IG to investigate the incident and submit a report. “Those responsible for the blast should be brought under the law,” he said.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid also took notice of the incident and directed the Punjab chief secretary and IG to submit a report while praying for the speedy recovery of the victims.

The federal government will help the provincial government with the investigation of the deadly attack, he tweeted.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif called the Lahore blast ‘ominous’.

“Deeply concerned that the law-and-order situation is not being given the kind of attention it deserves. Important to probe it for possible leads and establishing context. My condolences to bereaved families and prayers for the injured,” he wrote.


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