LAHORE: At least 16 people, including two senior Police officials, were killed and several injured in a strong bomb blast at the Chairing Cross, Mall Road near Punjab Assembly Building here on Monday.
Rana Sanaullah, the provincial law minister, confirmed that it was a suicide blast, occurred during a protest, which was being staged by drug dealers against the Drug Act introduced by the Punjab Government. Sources said that some 400 people were protesting when the explosion took place. The Geo News report said that DIG Traffic Lahore Captain Ahmed Mubeen and acting DIG Operations Zahid Ikram Gondal, along with three wardons were also martyred in the tragic incident.
A heavy contingent of police reached the site of the incident. Media representatives were also present at the site of protest when the explosion took place. The protesters were dispersed following the blast. The explosion was so powerful that it shattered windows of DSNG vans and police mobiles parked near the affected area.
No group immediately claimed Monday´s explosion, but the same faction of the Pakistani Taliban responsible for the Easter blast recently vowed it would continue carrying out attacks. Social media users were quick to suggest the blast was meant to derail plans to hold the highly-anticipated final of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore. The second year of the Twenty20 tournament is currently being held in the United Arab Emirates out of security fears, but after a military crackdown on extremism officials were confident enough to plan for the final to take place in the cricket-mad city.