At least seven people, including senior police officers, were martyred Monday when a powerful explosion hit close to the Punjab Assembly, near Mall Road and Charing Cross in Lahore, where a large number of people had gathered for a protest.
According to initial reports, several people have been injured in the blast and shifted to the Ganga Ram medical center and other nearby hospitals. Casualties were feared in the explosion.The owners of medical stores in Punjab had announced a demonstration near the Punjab Assembly building to protest the drug rules of the provincial government.
The powerful explosion hit when hundreds of people were present at the location for the protest.Senior police officials martyred,CCPO Lahore Ameen Vaince confirmed that Chief Traffic Officer Ahmed Mobeen has been martyred in the incident.Senior Superintendent of Police Zahid Gondal had also been martyred.
A heavy contingent of police reached the site of the incident. Media representatives were also present at the site of protest when the explosion took place. The protesters were dispersed following the blast.
The explosion was so powerful that it shattered windows of DSNG vans and police mobiles parked nearby.
In another incident,Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while strongly condemning the attack on Samaa TV’s van Monday said the perpetrators won’t be able to escape.
Taimur, a 22-year-old assistant camera person of Samaa TV, was killed after unidentified assailants opened fire on the channel’s Digital Satellite News Gathering van near Karachi’s KDA Chowrangi. He was inside the vehicle, when attackers fired from the rear.
The DSNG van was there for the coverage of an earlier cracker attack on a police APC.
“I am personally monitoring investigations into the attack, while assistance has also been sought from Rangers and intelligence agencies,” Nisar said in a statement.
The interior minister also expressed his heartfelt sympathies for the bereaved family and Samaa news team.
The funeral prayers for Taimur were held on Monday, while police have lodged a case against unidentified men.
In the meantime, the law enforcers conducted multiple raids in Kati Pahari, Nusrat Bhutto Colony, North Nazimabad and other areas. Around 30 suspects were rounded up during the raids.
The attack has renewed calls for security of newsmen with journalist bodies protesting it across the country