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14 killed, 60 injured as suicide blast hits protestors in Pakistan's Lahore
At least 14 people were killed and 60 others injured when a suicide bomber hit protestors outside provincial assembly in Pakistan's Punjab province on Monday evening, officials said.
Malik Ahmad, Spokesperson of Punjab government confirmed that the killed people included two traffic wardens and two senior police officers.
He said that Senior Superintendent Police Zahid Gondal and Deputy Inspector General traffic police Captain Mobeen who were negotiating with the protestors to give way to the traffic were also killed in the attack.
Local Urdu TV channel Dunya said that the blast happened at about 6:02 p.m. local time when hundreds of chemists and pharma manufacturers were protesting against a newly introduced act by Punjab government at the busy Mall Road of the provincial capital of Lahore.
Quoting traffic wardens, local media said that the suicide bomber coming on a motorbike blew himself up in the crowd.
The injured people, including policemen, chemists, and newsmen, have been shifted to nearby state-run hospitals where a state of emergency has been declared.
Hospital sources said that death toll is feared to rise as several among the injured people are in critical condition.
Several vehicles including a Digital Satellite New Gathering (DSNG) van of a local TV channel were completely destroyed in the explosion.
Police and contingent from Pakistan army and paramilitary troops have cordoned off the area for investigation.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Both the country's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the blast and directed hospital administration to provide best possible medical treatment to the injured people.
The PM directed the senior officials of Punjab government to reach at the blast site. He also vowed to root out the evil of militancy from the country.
Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa also condemned the explosion and expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives.
He also directed the troops to help civil government to arrest the people involved in the heinous crime of killing innocent people.
[Source: Xinhua, Islamabad, 13Feb17]
Islamic paramilitary organizations
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