August 20, 2019 | 7:19 PM IST
bomb explodes

Powerful bomb explodes outside largest Data Darbar shrine in Pak

Five persons, including two policemen, were killed when a powerful bomb attack outside the 11th century Data Darbar shrine in Pakistan’s Lahore on Wednesday. The country is observing the fasting month of Ramadan and the Data Darbar shrine is the largest Sufi shrine in South Asia.
About 24 persons are reported to have been wounded and were taken to nearby hospitals.  Reports reveal that the blast occurred at the entrance gate meant for female devotees and at peak time to carry out the blast as there were several devotees within and outside the shrine.
According to the initial reports, the blast was meant to target the police van stationed outside Gate No 2 of the shrine

 Deputy Inspector General Operations Lahore Ashfaq Ahmad Khan said that at present the area has been cordoned off and the investigations are on. He added that the team are trying to find out if the explosion was caused using an Improvised explosive device (IED), or a suicide attack and that all departments, including the Counter Terrorism Department have reached the spot.
Mangled cars and other vehicles could be seen outside the Sufi darbar that has the shrine of Saint Syed Ali bin Osman Al-Hajvery, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh.

In 2010 too, the shrine was attacked by a suicide bomber in which more than 40 persons were reportedly killed.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly condemned the blast and sought immediate detailed report from concerned authorities. Sources reveal that no terrorist group has taken responsibility of the explosion as yet.

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