Pakistan: 14 killed, several injured as powerful blast rips through Lahore's mall road

A bomb blast hit the mall area in Lahore, Pakistan last week. Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 13, 2017, 01.38 PM (IST)

A powerful explosion killing 14 and injuring 83 rocked the mall road area of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's Punjab province.

The blast took place close to the provincial assembly at a time when protests by Pakistan's chemists and pharmaceutical manufacturers was underway.

Mushtaq Sukhera, inspector-general of police in Punjab province, said five police officers were among the dead, Reuters reported.

"It was a suicide attack. The bomber exploded himself when successful negotiations were underway between police officials and the protesters," Sukhera told reporters.

A spokesman for Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, called Reuters and claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a statement said, "We have fought this fight against the terrorists among us, and will continue to fight it until we liberate our people of this cancer, and avenge those who have laid down their lives for us." 

 

Pakistani policemen move an injured blast victim into a vehicle after a powerful explosion in Lahore. (AFP)

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(WION with agency inputs)