LAHORE: At least five people were killed and 50 others, including women, were injured when an explosion occurred at an eatery situated in Old Anarkali's food street area of Lahore on Saturday, DawnNews reported.

Police identified two of the dead as a six-year-old girl named Sadia and a 20-year-old boy named Fahad Tasleem.

The condition of eight injured persons is said to be critical.

The Punjab government announced compensation for all the victims and their family members.

The Punjab capital had so far remained immune to the wave of bombings that has terrorised the three other provincial headquarters over the past four years. Observers found the timing of the attack — exactly one month after the PML-N government came to power — intriguing. Television channels quoted the provincial police chief as having told his force to be on alert as “more acts of terror” could follow “within 72 hours”.

Preliminary police inquiries suggested that a time device had been placed between chairs near Bokhara Restaurant. It created a one-foot deep crater when it exploded.

Mostly lower middle class families dine in the open at one of the oldest food spots of the city on weekends.

Witnesses and police said the street was almost packed to capacity when the device went off. The diners started crying and running here and there in utter confusion.

The blast was so intense that it damaged some cars and motorcycles parked on nearby roads and also an electricity transformer. Some shops were damaged. It left tables, chairs and other articles of furniture scattered all over the place. Shopkeepers closed their shops soon after the blast. Policemen and officials of other law enforcement agencies in large numbers cordoned off the place and both ends of the food street. Footages from CCTVs installed at some shops were obtained by police to identify the culprits.

The blast occurred in a high security zone which is home to government offices, including the Central Police Office.

An extensive search operation was conducted in the area a few days ago.

Capital City Police Officer Chaudhry Shafique Ahmad told Dawn that an explosive device weighing about 500 grams and hidden in a shopper bag was apparently used in the blast.

Rescue 1122 spokesman Jam Sajjad Hussain said 26 of the injured were taken to Mayo Hospital, five to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and as many were admitted to the Services Hospital.

DIG (Investigation) Zulfiqar Hameed said that apparently the target was ordinary people dining at restaurants.

He said the explosion a crater five to six inch deep, adding that police investigators and bomb disposal squad officials were gathering evidence and recording witness accounts.

Police had not determined the nature of the explosives.

CCPO Ahmed said that anti-state elements were involved in such incidents and that they wanted to sow fear among people and create an anarchic situation.

The culprits would be captured and dealt with iron hands, he claimed.

Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Mian Muhmmad Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Jamaat-i-Islaami (JI) chief Syed Munawar Hassan and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, among other leaders, strongly condemned the blast.

Moreover, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah called for the immediate arrest of the culprits responsible for the attack.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (27)

July 6, 2013 11:14 pm

Alla khair kharay.

July 6, 2013 11:24 pm

Shame on shareef family and Pml N...There were so many threats from terrorist for blast in Lahore.... But they don't have care to the public...

Qaiser Bakhtiari
July 7, 2013 12:45 am

To those who still think that every bearded man invoking Quran and Sunnah represents Islam and Allah, I encourage you to think again. Furthermore a country, spending 80% or so on its security, has completely failed to effectively secure that nation.

July 7, 2013 1:07 am

The whole country is griped with terror networks and the DCO says there was no prior warning or threat ? Err.. How on earth did you manage to qualify for public services ?

Hassan Naqvi
July 7, 2013 2:03 am

Yet another reason to have talks with terrorists.

July 7, 2013 2:55 am

When will this madness end?

July 7, 2013 4:19 am

whats the point of condemning statements while you have the power to stop them from happening in the first place....

July 7, 2013 6:35 am

Allah bless those who are perished in this senseless brutal atrocity and my heart goes to the victim families.Who are these animals, police never apprehend them ever?There will be some inquiries, some form to fill up and then more never ending inquiries and no one will remember these poor victims after few months,this is the norm of these days in my beloved country which I left 42 years ago but still feel pain when I hear this kind of bad news ,and what should we expect from our inept police department who are busy to collect whatever they can from Rikshawalas and motorcyclists.My beloved Pakistan and her people my prayers and Allahs blessing with you always. Ameen.

July 7, 2013 6:45 am

From Taliban a 'gentle' reminder to Nawaz Sharif.

July 7, 2013 6:50 am

When will the government give top priority to bring peace in Pakistan?

July 7, 2013 9:23 am

why why and why...What is happening in pakistan ..really hard to understand why some body wants to kill common people...

M Khaleeq
July 7, 2013 11:18 am

Blasts, killings, terrorist attacks, honour killing and sectarian killings are a day to day routine. Neither the Government nor the civil society are concerned about it. Why??

syed baqar ahsan
July 7, 2013 11:32 am

Those who are involved and CCPO is sure to apprehend then these snake should have been eliminated because those who do that professional and well known, now start finishing these "friends&foes" only then peace will return.This massage must reach Mr Sanaullah who has some favourites.

NK Ali
July 7, 2013 11:42 am

Let us talk. Let them bomb. Let us vote to the assemblies impotent and ineffective politicians. The bomb blasts have had an implosive effect on the majority of mullahs and almost all the cricketers have lost their center stumps. Let them talk. We want action and peace from the captains of the three pillars of state. Salams

syed baqar ahsan
July 7, 2013 12:07 pm

USA/UK/KSA/UAE/India will show up their dirt and jolt Pakistan to revenge this strategic shift to China and to fellow with Iran and Russia.But for sure our all security forces are gearing up to sort out or finish their net work who have already damaged us while call them self as friends and continued cutting us.

syed baqar ahsan
July 7, 2013 12:28 pm

Rana Sanaullah if you want to help Sharif Brothers to enjoy new strategic shift towards china then all those who are known to you from banned out fits get rid of them quickly before some body from them hold you from the neck because they only act when told by their pay master,this Lahore action is stage by those who are enjoying your sympathy none else can do that in your province.

Hira doll
July 7, 2013 12:38 pm

Frhan tasleem not Fahad

Syed Hussain Akbari
July 7, 2013 3:54 pm

@syed baqar ahsan: Mr. Baqar, you have rightly said. Leaving the West aside it is pity that even our Muslim brothers are not on our side. The one who is our real friend (like China and Russia) is being ignored by the Pakistani goverment. The enemy is known now attack Mr. Sanaullah. Candies will not help. It will be brutal in the beginning and the world specially the Western world and also our Arab brothers will raise hue and cry in the name Human Rights but finally we have to realise the facts and clean the table.It is Pakistan which is suffering and not any one else. Please Mr. Sanaullah do something for the benefit of the country.

July 7, 2013 5:01 pm

may Allah blessed our country......n our leader be sincere with thier country then we sort out catastrophic in pakistan .........

July 7, 2013 8:15 pm

I am regular reader of Dawn, I have observed that there are always news about the bomb blasts however, I have never read a news stating that following persons have been arrested who were responsible for the blasts..... Why???

Maqbool Basha
July 7, 2013 8:14 pm

The terrorists entered Punjab like 'Enter the Dragon' and now on our Army and Federal Government will start acting. Have an eye on rose petal lawyers.

July 8, 2013 2:17 am

Rana Sanaullah, can you do more than a rogue statement ?. believe me, in Lahore, all main stream leaders will not come out without dozens of security personals.

July 8, 2013 7:21 am

Lets not talk about high speed trains Mr. Sharif, lets just talk about providing basics... People of Pakistan need security, they need electricity, they need good healthcare, they need good education, they need good governance. They need a leader who can stand next to them in difficult times....

July 8, 2013 8:54 am

i realy disheard

July 8, 2013 8:57 am

asa kio hota ha k hr bar baigona logo ka katal hota ha

Ravi Ingale from University of Pune
July 8, 2013 9:54 am

Because there are some elements in Pakistan they are still not understood that why Pakistan was made.

July 8, 2013 11:27 am

i am just tired of these useless politicians...... every time when i hear some blast news like 10 died , 12 injured etc.. and in the end comments from politicians "We strongly condemn this attack"... that's all they have fulfilled their duty. i wonder do then even condemn any attack or author just writes it by himself.

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