LAHORE: Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Lahore Ahmed Mobeen and SSP Zahid Gondal among 16 people were killed and over 60 injured when a suspected suicide bomber detonated himself at a protest demonstration at Chairing Cross near Punjab Assembly on Monday.
As per initial reports, a suspected suicide bomber riding motorcycle approached the protest demonstration of chemists and medical store owners at Chairing Cross on The Mall in Lahore and blew himself up.
The Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
DIG Traffic Lahore Capt (Redt) Ahmed Mobeen and SSP Zahid Gondal were among those killed in the blast. The police officers had gone to Chairing Cross to hold negotiations with the protesters.
As per initial investigation, the target of the bomber was police officials. Eye witnesses said that when the suspected motorcyclist approached the police officials, a blast occurred.
Over 40 people were injured in the blast. Many police officials and journalists are also among those injured.
The death toll may increase, as the condition of 18 injured admitted at Ganga Raam Hospital is stated to be critical.
Police and rescue workers rushed to the site of the blast. The bodies and injured are being shifted to local hospitals. Army and Rangers troop also rushed to the blast site.
The DSNG van of Aaj TV, which was at the site to cover the protest, was badly damaged in the blast. A cameraman of the channel and driver of the DSNG van were injured.
TTP claims responsibility
A spokesperson for Jamaatul Ahrar, a faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The group previously claimed responsibility for the March 2016 Easter bombing at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, which killed over 70 people.
Meanwhile, schools in the provincial capital will remain closed on Tuesday, All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association announced in a statement.