Five killed in police complex blast

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A suicide bomber has killed five people while trying to enter a police complex in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

The city is the power base of prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and the bombing, claimed by a Pakistani Taliban splinter group, further destabilises a country already struggling to deal with militants after an assault on a school in December left 150 people dead.

Initial reports suggest a man on foot ran toward the gate of one of the main police buildings in Lahore and blew himself up, said police chief Amin Wains.

At least five people were killed, said home minister Shuja Khanzada, although the bomber was not able to get inside the complex.

Several people were wounded in the blast and some nearby buildings caught fire, said police official Haidar Ashraf.

Live television footage from the scene showed smoke billowing from the building and people fleeing.

Rescue authorities could be seen hosing down a smoking building as other officials set up screens to keep media and onlookers away.

A Pakistani Taliban splinter group called Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed it was a response to the recent executions of some of their members by the Pakistani government.

“This was a suicide attack and such attacks will go on,” said spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan.

The government in December partially removed a moratorium on the death penalty in response to the school attack in the north-western city of Peshawar.

The eastern city of Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab province, is miles from the border with India and is often considered Pakistan’s cultural capital.

Such bombings and militant-related violence are relatively rare in Lahore and the surrounding area, although not unheard of. In November, a bombing near the Wagah border crossing killed more than 50 people. That attack was also claimed by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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