Blast near shrine in Pakistan, several dead: police

May 8, 2019

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) – A bomb targeting police outside a major Sufi shrine in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Wednesday killed several people and wounded dozens, officials said.

The blast, one day after the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, took place close to the Data Darbar, one of the largest shrines in South Asia.

“It was an attack on police that left several dead and dozens of policemen and civilians injured. The target was police,” said Syed Mubashir Hussain, a spokesman for the Lahore police.

The attack follows a period of relative calm in the city, where attacks were at one time common.

No casualty details were immediately available but the Dawn newspaper reported that at least three people had been killed.

“A rescue operation is under way and we have shifted 15 people to hospital,” said Muhammad Farooq, a spokesman for the city’s rescue services.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Sufis have been attacked by hardline Sunni Muslim militants in the past.

(Reporting by Mubasher Bukhari and Syed Raza Khan; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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