Lahore: Nine people were killed in a blast and twenty four were injured outside a major sufi shrine targeting a security checkpoint in Lahore on Wednesday, officials said.
According to Reuters, the blast happened after the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, it took place close to the Data Darbar, one of the largest shrines in South Asia, which was cordoned off by security officials.
“Police was the prime target in this attack. We are collecting forensic evidences to ascertain the nature of the blast. This attack has left nine dead and 24 injured,” said Ashfaq Khan, deputy inspector general of police operations in Lahore.
Muhammad Farooq, a spokesperson for the Lahore’s rescue services stated that at least seven or eight of them were in critical condition.
Data Darbar is one of the most famous Sufi shrine, Sufis follow a mystical form of Islam that has been practiced in Pakistan for centuries, have been attacked by hardline militants in the past but there was no immediate claim of responsibility at this moment.
Police out up checkpoints on main thoroughfares leading to the shrine and hospitals were placed on alert, officials said.
Officials warned that the attack highlighted the need for vigilance by people gathering for worship during Ramzan.
“People should remain aware of their surroundings when going to pray,” said Punjab provincial minister Mian Aslam.