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26 killed, scores injured in Pakistan suicide bombing

At least 26 people have been killed - many of them police officers - after a suicide bomber on a motorcycle struck in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

Another 54 people were injured after the bombing near a group of police guarding a demolition site at Kot Lakhpat vegetable market on the outskirts of the city.

Senior police officer Haider Ashraf said it was initially believed that the bomb had been detonated in a car, but it was later discovered that the vehicle belonged to a police officer who was among the dead.

Many of the wounded are policemen, with several bystanders also injured in the blast.

Mr Ashraf added that a high-rise building housing important information technology offices is situated near the blast site, but the apparent target of the bombing was the police gathering.

The outlawed militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, confirming they used a suicide bomber on a motorcycle.

Rana Sanaullah, the home minister of eastern Punjab province of which Lahore is the capital, said anti-state elements who want to see instability in the country were behind the attack.

He said: "No matter what name they use, these terrorists are one but they cannot demoralize the Pakistani nation."

Malik Mohammad Ahmed, a spokesman for the Punjab government, said the blast occurred near the secretariat of Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, but that he was not in the office at the time.

Mr Sharif condemned the attack and called for the best possible medical service for the survivors.

Lahore has faced scores of terror attacks in recent years. A suicide bombing earlier this year killed 16 police on a busy road, while another killed more than 70 people during Easter last year.



From Belfast Telegraph