By Muhammad Luqman
At least ten people, including five Elite Force personnel, were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a police vehicle in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore on Wednesday.
Five civilians were among those killed while another 21 were injured in the attack, according to police officials.
“We will bring to justice the elements involved in the attack,” IG Punjab Arif Nawaz told media soon after the incident, adding that a crackdown continues across Punjab against militant outfits.
The attack occurred near the entrance gate for female visitors to the 11th century Data Darbar shrine, one of the largest Sufi shrines in South Asia.
The shrine has also been targeted previously, in a 2010 suicide attack that killed more than 40 people, and is guarded by heavy security.
The area of the attack was cordoned off soon after the incident as rescue services transferred the injured to medical facilities and security officials started their investigation into the incident.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar cancelled his visit to Bhakkar and presided over a meeting to review the situation. He has also asked IG Punjab to submit a report on the incident.
Additional pickets have been set up across the provincial capital and security has been heightened after the blast, said DIG Operations Ashfq Ahmad Khan.
“Unauthorised personnel will not be allowed to enter Red Zone,” said the DIG and added that citizens can enter the area if they show their national identification cards.
An attack in Lahore in March last year left nine people dead, while a major blast targeting Christians celebrating Easter in a park in 2016 killed more than 70 people.