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10 killed in suicide attack outside Sufi shrine in Pakistan's Lahore

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Lahore: A teenage Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up outside one of Pakistan's oldest and most revered Sufi shrines in Lahore yesterday, killing at least 10 people, including five police commandos, and injuring 25 others as the country marks the Muslim holy month of Ramazan.

The powerful blast took place around 8:45 am (local time) outside Gate number 2 of the 11th-century Data Darbar shrine, the largest Sufi shrine in South Asia, where the elite police personnel were deployed for security, police said.

A CCTV footage showed that a teenage boy wearing black shalwar kameez and a suicide vest came closer to the vehicle of elite force and blew himself up.

"The suicide bomber is about 15 years old and made no suspected movement before blowing himself up," Lahore police spokesperson Syed Mubashir told PTI.

He said at least 10 people including five policemen were killed in the blast. Over 20 injured are being treated at the Mayo Hospital Lahore, of them the condition of six is said to be critical. He said two suspects have been taken into custody.

The Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JeA), a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed the responsibility for the attack.

"We also heard that Jamaatul Ahrar had claimed the responsibility of the Lahore blast on social media but we can't confirm it before investigation," Mubashir said.

Punjab Inspector General Police Arif Nawaz told reporters that it was a suicide attack and the target was the vehicle of the elite force that was stationed outside the shrine of Sufi saint Ali Hajvari popularly known as Data Darbar.

He said the suicide bomber came closer to the police personnel vehicle and blew himself up, killing five of them and injuring four others critically. One security guard and three civilians are among the dead, he said.

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