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Deadly fire in Lahore shopping mall

A fire in a shopping mall in the Pakistani city of Lahore killed at least 13 people, local media reported.

The fire broke out at the oldest shopping centre in the eastern city, which is considered Pakistan's cultural centre.

Video footage shows rescuers escorting the wounded into ambulances as firefighters struggled to beat back the blaze with extinguishers.

Mohammed Usman, a city government official on the scene of the blaze, said the victims died of suffocation and burns. They included a woman and a child.

He said the fire burned the main gate of the shopping centre, where mostly watches and clothes are sold. He said there was no exit in the back part of the mall, and the fire was caused by a short circuit in one of the shops.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his grief over the deadly blaze, and directed the government to accelerate the rescue and relief efforts.

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