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Bomb blasts hit Pakistan’s Lahore, leave casualties

23 February 2017 15:50

 

Two bomb explosions have occurred in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, with authorities announcing a death toll of six from one of the blasts.

The first blast ripped through the building of an upscale shopping market on the outskirts of Pakistan’s second largest city and the capital of Punjab province on Thursday, leaving six people dead and at least thirty others injured.

Initial reports had said a generator had exploded; however, sources in the Punjab police and the provincial government confirmed that the explosion had been caused by a bomb.

Pakistani soldiers and policemen cordon off the site of a bomb attack in Lahore, February 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Cities across Pakistan had been put on high alert following a recent spate of deadly terrorist attacks in the South Asian country. The Pakistani military announced a day earlier that a massive counter-terrorism operation had been launched after a week of bombings in the country that claimed at least 100 lives.

Meanwhile, a second explosion rocked another market in Lahore’s Gulberg area, with no immediate reports of casualties.

A Punjab government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the explosion had occurred on a main boulevard lined with shopping plazas and restaurants.

No group or individual has so far claimed responsibility for the two blasts.

“The enemy is taking advantage of the turmoil in Afghanistan to launch terrorist attacks on Pakistan’s soil,” a foreign office spokesman told reporters at a regular press briefing Thursday.

While the spokesman did not clarify who “the enemy” was, militants with the Pakistani Taliban have largely been to blame for violence in Pakistan. Recently, Daesh, too, has carried out bombings.

Daesh targeted a shrine in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh last Thursday, leaving about 90 people dead and over 350 others wounded.

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