Islamabad, May 8: A major blast was reported from outside the renowned Data Darbar sufi shrine in Pakistan's Lahore. At least eight people were killed and 25 others left injured in the explosion. The victims have been rushed to the nearest hospitals. Prima facie, it appears to be an act of terror, officials have confirmed.
According to local media, a police van close to the Data Darbar shrine exploded, killing three security personnel inside the vehicle. One civilian has also succumbed to the injuries. Pakistan Turns into Nightmare for Minorities, Says Nadeem Nusrat
The Lahore police has rushed a heavy contingent to the site of blast, whereas, the anti-bomb squad has been deployed to scan all parts of the vicinity, including the shrine which is frequented by thousands on daily basis.
DIG Operations Lahore Ashfaq Ahmed Khan has reached the hospital where the victims are being treated. Medical staff has been instructed to act on war footing and attempt to minimise the number of fatalities.
The Data Darbar shrine houses the remains of 11th century Sufi saint Abul Hassan Ali Hujwiri. Scores of Muslims, affiliated to the Ahle-e-Sunnat Wa Jamaat, visit the shrine. The devotees include those travelling from neighbouring India and Afghanistan as well.
The terror attack comes on the second day of Ramzan. Data Darbar is the second major shrine to be targeted by the extremists. In 2017, the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists had carried out a suicide attack which left over 100 people killed in the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh.