LAHORE, Pakistan, June 23 (Reuters) – A bomb attack on Wednesday in a residential area in Lahore, eastern Pakistan, left four people dead, including a child, and injured 14, police said. that no liability was immediately claimed.
Among those injured in the powerful explosion were police officers who manned a checkpoint next to the home of Hafiz Saeed, the jailed founder of the militant Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
“Apparently what we are seeing is our law enforcement is the target,” Provincial Police Chief Inam Ghani told reporters. “You can see that our policemen are also injured.”
Three people were killed, Ghani said. A police spokesperson later said a four-year-old child died of his injuries.
Some of the injured, including children, were in critical condition, a hospital spokesperson said.
A car parked near a house had exploded, setting fire to nearby cars and motorcycles, a witness, Fahim Ahmad, told reporters at the scene.
Ghani said police were investigating whether the explosives were detonated from a distance or by a suicide bomber. Without the police checkpoint, the car could have reached Saeed’s house, he added.
Lashkar-e-Taiba was blamed for the 2008 Bombay attack that killed 166 people, including foreigners and Americans.
Saeed, who heads Jamat-ud-Dawa, a charity linked to the militant group, was sentenced in November to 10 years in prison after being convicted of two counts of terrorist financing.
A spokesperson for the association told Reuters Saeed was in prison and therefore not at his home on Wednesday.
Islamist militant groups are trying to return after Pakistani military offensives to their sanctuaries along the Afghan border, but urban areas like Lahore have largely escaped the violence.
The military has fought the militants, who want to impose their own tough brand of Islamic rule in the predominantly Muslim country.
Written by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore
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