In a powerful suicide blast in Lahore, at least 22 people are reported to be killed and more than 30 injured. The suicide blast occurred near the residence-cum-office of Pakistan’s Punjab province Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. It may be recalled that Shahbaz Sharif is the brother of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and currently there are talks to appoint Shahbaz as the interim Prime Minister of Pakistan in case the Pakistan Supreme Court finds Nawaz Sharif guilty in the Panamagate case. Shahbaz Sharif was attending a meeting at his Model Town office when the blast occurred. Police and Lahore Development Authority officials were working to remove encroachments outside the Arfa Karim Tower when the blast took place.
Several policemen have also been killed in the blast. The injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals and they are receiving treatment. Reports said that there could be more causalities since several among the injured are critically wounded in the suicide blast. Lahore police chief Capt. (R) Amin Wains said that the primary target were police officials. The area has been sealed off and security agencies are investigating the site to gather clues and evidence. Till now, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Lahore, which is the cultural capital of Pakistan, has witnessed such blasts earlier as well.