Lahore: At least five people, including a 5-year-old girl, have been killed and 46 others injured in a powerful blast at the crowded Old Anarkali food street in this eastern city of Pakistan, police said today.
Two people died on the spot yesterday while three more succumbed to their injuries at a local hospital early today.
The blast, placed outside a restaurant, ripped through Lahore`s famous food street yesterday night when the place was crowded with families dining out on the weekend.
The police said a time-device was planted outside Bokhara restaurant and the blast damaged several food outlets on the street as well as numerous parked vehicles.
Rescue emergency service, police and other civic agencies reached the spot and shifted the injured, including women and children, to Mayo Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Services Hospital.
The injured have been moved to the hospitals, with four of them stated to be critical.
The food street is a favoured destination among families in Lahore who come out in large numbers to the area every weekend.
"I was having dinner with my seven-year-old son and wife when we heard a big bang. My son fell unconscious. Thank God he is alright," said Khalid Shiekh who was at the site during the explosion.
Another eyewitness Ali Raza said he and his friends were waiting for their order to be served when the blast occurred.
"Some children were lying injured and we rushed to take them to hospital," he said.
Lahore`s food outlets operating in the open closed soon after the blast.
Lahore Police chief Chaudhry Shafiq said a home-made explosive device was used and planted near a deep freezer.
"The bomb was detonated using a timer device," he said, adding no group had claimed responsibility.