LAHORE, Jan 20 (Asia Free Press): A blast rocked the Pan Mandi in Lahore’s Anarkali Bazaar, which led to death of at least three so far and 26 sustained injuries, Lahore police officials told local media.
A bomb was “planted” in a motorcycle, the Spokesman for Lahore Police Rana Arif said while confirming the casualties and the number of the injured people in the said incident. However, the spokesperson did not provide further details about the incident that happened in Lahore’s famous Anarkali Bazaar, a major bazaar in the city which is known for traditional food and traditional handicraft.
The blast was so powerful that it damaged several shops around Anarkali Bazaar, one of the witnesses said to local media. TV footage showed burning motorcycles in a crowded bazaar, as the wounded cried for help.
Abid Khan, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Lahore, told local media at the scene of the incident, the initial investigation unfolded that it was an IED attack as a crater was created by the explosion.
“Our technical team is collecting evidence. We will reach a conclusion on the basis of their analysis,” The DIG further claimed.
Meanwhile, Umer Sher Chatta, the Deputy Commissioner Lahore said, the blast took place in the last lane of Anarkali bazaar, close to Circular Road. He also claimed the explosive material was planted in a motorcycle which was parked outside a bank in the area.
He also confirmed that three people had died in the incident, adding that the nature of the blast would be determined by the Forensic Science Agency, the Safe City Authority and the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS).
The injured were shifted to Mayo hospital for first-aid, where five of them were in critical condition, the DC told media while adding that a large number of law enforcement officials now reached the incident site and inbounded the area.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has condemned the incident and expressed regret over the loss of precious lives. He has also instructed concerned authorities to provide the best medical aid to the injured and asked the Punjab government to submit a report over the incident.
Chief Minister of Punjab Usman Buzdar also condemned the attack by saying, “Those responsible for the blast will be arrested soon and brought to justice”.
The Punjab Chief Minister 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 also condemned the incident. He said that the loss of precious lives in Anarkali was deeply saddening.
“Innocent children and poor people were the victims of the tragedy.” Sharif added.