Lahore: At least 8 people were killed and several injured in a suicide attack on Pakistan Police Regional HQ in Lahore on Tuesday.
According to local Pak media reports, the attack took place in Qila Gujar Singh area of Lahore on Tuesday when a bomber blew himself outside the gates of Police Lines, setting ablaze other cars parked in the vicinity.
Intensity of blast was strong enough to have shattered the window panes of nearby buildings. Eyewitnesses told local media channels that they heard gunshots after the blast. However, security personnel told the Dawn news that only law enforcement agencies fired gunshots.
Hospitals in the area have been put on high alert and the injured have been rushed to Mayo and Sir Ganga Ram hospital. A policewoman is also said to be amog those injured.
The area has been cordoned off by security forces and rescue teams have rushed to the blast site.
According to report, the area where the attack took place is a heavily populated one, and has in its neighbourhood important offices like the headquarter of Pakistan Railways and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation office (Radio),Bibi Pak Daman shrine and also several schools and colleges.
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have strongly condemned the Lahore blast and instructed authorities to provide the best possible medical treatment to the injured.
The responsibility for the attack was claimed by Jamaat ul Ahrar, a faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, according to reports.
Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that the bombing was in retaliation to death of "all the martyrs who were dragged out of prison and killed or hanged", the AFP quoted.
"We want to make it clear to the rulers that we will take revenge for the blood of innocent Muslims -- our operations will continue till Islamic system is imposed," Ehsan said in an emailed statement.
It can be noted that Jamaat ul Ahrar was also the group that claimed responsibility for suicide attack at Wagah border crossing that left 60 dead in November.
The attack in Lahore comes just two months after Taliban staged the deadly attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in December, claiming 140 lives, most of the victims being children and students.
The deadly massacre of children at Peshawar school prompted Pakistan to step up its fight against militants, and the government scrapped a six-year moratorium on the death penalty, hanging many terror convicts.