At least 9 people have been reported to be dead in a suicide blast outside a shrine at Pakistan's capital city Lahore on Wednesday (May 8) morning at 8.45 am.
According to the reports, more than 24 people have been injured in the blast which took place at the 11th-century Data Darbar shrine in the crowded place of Lahore. One of the largest Sufi shrines in South Asia, Data Darbar was earlier targeted by terror outfit in 2010 leaving 40 dead and injuring several.
Local news channel Geo News said that at least three dead bodies were brought in to Mayo Hospital in Lahore, while 25 others are being treated for injuries. The blast occurred near the entrance gate for female visitors to the shrine and 7 kg of explosives were used in the blast.
Lahore Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed told media that one of the dead bodies brought in to Mayo Hospital was that of the suspected attacker. "It was a suicide attack. Ball bearings were also used in the attack," said Saleha, adds the report.
According to the police, the blast was caused by a bomb targeting the security forces guarding the Sufi shrine. Three police officials died in the suicide blast, a security guard and civilians were also among the dead. Hundreds of pilgrims were present inside the shrine when the blast took place.
The martyred police officers were identified as Head Constable Shahid Nazir, Head Constable Muhammad Sohail, and Constable Muhammad Saleem, reports Geo News.
The emergency and rescue operations team have rushed to the spot. However, a proper number of the casualties and wounded people are unclear as of now. The blasts come at the time when the Muslim community in the country is fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
(This is a developing story, awaiting further updates)