Explosion rocks Lahore’s Anarkali area

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— Two killed, dozens injured
—President, PM grieved over deaths
—Report sought from Punjab govt
—Initial investigation points to use of IED

From Abid Usman
LAHORE: At least two people, including a child, were killed while 26 others sustained injuries in an explosion at Pan Mandi in New Anarkali here on Thursday.
According to the police, people were busy in the bazaar when the blast occurred which also damaged glasses of the buildings and some motorcycles.
On information, the Rescue 1122 teams reached the spot and started the rescue operation besides shifting the injured to Mayo Hospital where two people died while the condition of four injured was stated to be critical.
Mayo Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Iftikhar Ahmad said the best medical facilities were being provided to the injured as most of them received burns, adding that the hospital was fully equipped with modern facilities.
Meanwhile, the senior police officers also reached the spot to collect evidences to examine the nature of the blast.
On the other hand, President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday expressed condolence over the loss of precious lives in a blast that took place in Lahore earlier in the day.
They directed the authorities concerned to extend the best medical facilities to those injured.
The prime minister also sought a report on the incident from the Punjab government.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also condoled over the casualties in the blast and said that comprehensive investigation was underway to find out the causes of the blast.
He also prayed for peace of the departed souls and sympathized with the bereaved families.
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid told the media that two people were killed and 26 injured in the blast that took place in Lahore’s Anarkali area. She said the four injured persons were in critical condition and were in the operation theater.
The police authorities and the technical teams were yet ascertaining the nature of the explosion.
Moreover, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also condemned the attack. “Those responsible for the blast will be arrested soon and brought to justice,” said CM Buzdar.
He said it was a “vicious act” to sabotage the law and order of the province.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident. He said that the loss of precious lives in Anarkali, a lively and historic area of Lahore, was deeply saddening.
“Innocent children and poor people were the victims of the tragedy.”
In June last year, three people died and 21 others, including women and children, sustained injuries when an explosives-laden vehicle exploded near the house of Hafiz Saeed, leader of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), in Lahore’s Johar Town neighbourhood.
According to investigators, around 25-30 kilogrammes of explosives could have been used in the blast, as it had left a three feet deep and five feet wide crater at the spot, while shrapnel flew as far as 500 metres.