Blast in Lahore near Hafiz Saeed's house; 3 killed
At least three people were killed and 21 injured due to a blast in Lahore's Johar town in Pakistan on Wednesday. The powerful explosion reportedly left behind a crater and caused visible damage to nearby houses. Some reports suggest it was a car bomb blast. Incidentally, it took place near the residence of Hafiz Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).
The blast occurred in the residential area near Allah Hu boulevard, Dawn reported. Visuals showed walls of nearby houses had collapsed and window panes had shattered. Punjab Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani told reporters the explosion took place near Saeed's house that the police were guarding at the time of the incident. An eyewitness claimed a device planted on a motorcycle had detonated.
According to Lahore police chief Ghulam Mehmood Dogar, three people were killed in the blast. Ghani said nothing could compensate for the loss of lives and the perpetrators will be held responsible. Further, 13 injured individuals are undergoing treatment at the Jinnah Hospital. Eight others have already been discharged. Lahore Deputy Commissioner Mudassir Riaz said the injured included women, children, and a police official.
Ghani said the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) has taken over the investigation into the Lahore blast. "The CTD will determine whether it was a suicide blast or if a device was used," Dawn quoted him as saying. He asked the media and the public to not "speculate," adding that Pakistan faces several threats from "external elements" with the aim of harming the country's progress.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar directed the IG to submit a report on the incident. "Those responsible for the blast should be brought under the law," he said. Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid directed the Punjab Chief Secretary and the IG to submit a report. Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif described the blast as "ominous."