(Karachi) At least three people were killed and 21 injured after a bomb blast rocked the Johar Town area of Lahore on Wednesday, Aaj TV reported.
The injured, including women and children, have been transferred to Jinnah hospital for treatment and 7 people are believed to be in critical condition, officials said.
Rescue officials said the explosion took place in Block E near Ahsan Mumtaz Hospital and damaged windows in neighboring buildings while sound was also heard in areas far from the incident.
Initial reports suggest that at least three vehicles were damaged. Ball bearings were also reportedly found, as details of the nature of the explosion were revealed.
Speaking to reporters, the medical superintendent of Jinnah Hospital, Dr Yahya Sultan, said seven of those admitted to the hospital were in critical condition with “ball bearing and blast injuries”. He added that the injured included two women, one of whom was pregnant and had to be put on a ventilator.
Police and law enforcement attended the scene and opened a preliminary investigation. Initial reports had suggested that the cause of the explosion was not yet clear, and officials were in the process of determining the reason.
Talk to Geographic newsLahore Capital City Police Officer Ghulam Mehmood Dogar said officials could not tell if the blast was targeting someone without investigating.
However, later Punjab’s Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani said the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) had resumed the investigation.
“The CTD will determine if the explosion was a suicide or if a planted device was used,” Ghani said, speaking to reporters after the incident. “Several threat alerts have been received, and clearly, external elements want to harm Pakistan.”
When asked for comment, Ghani, who visited the area hours after the incident, told reporters the explosion took place near the residence of the outlawed leader of Jamatud Dawa (JuD) Hafiz Saeed.
“Regarding the issue of the residence of a high-value target, a police picket (post) has been established there,” he said, adding that the police were guarding Saeed’s house at the time of the incident. attack, injuring some. officials.
“We should like the police because the anti-state elements failed to hit the target. They want to demoralize the police but they need to know that our morale is high.”
In a later tweet, Ghani said the CTD Punjab was investigating the “unfortunate terrorist act” and would ensure a professional investigation into the media outcry. “That way we can stop exposing progress to the terrorist.”
Previously, Lahore Deputy Commissioner Mudassir Riaz Malik ordered the relevant Deputy Commissioner and officials from Sui Gas and Lahore Electric Supply Company to visit the site of the incident.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also took note of the explosion and asked the top police official in the province to submit a report on the incident.
Buzdar also called on the authorities concerned to provide the best possible medical treatment to the injured.
Opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said it was important to probe the reason for the explosion to establish the context and find possible leads.
This is a developing story, and will be updated accordingly.