The death toll rose to 11 today in the powerful suicide blast outside one of Pakistan’s oldest and most revered Sufi shrines in Lahore as another policeman succumbed to his injuries, officials said.
The attack, which occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramazan, was carried out by a teenage Taliban suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the densely-populated 11th century shrine.
So far, 11 people, including six police commandos, have lost their lives, adding that as many as 26 others have been injured.
The powerful blast took place outside the Data Darbar shrine, the largest Sufi shrine in South Asia, where the elite police personnel were deployed for security.
A CCTV footage showed that a teenage boy wearing black ‘shalwar kameez’ and a suicide vest came closer to the vehicle of elite force and blew himself up.
“The suicide bomber is about 15 years old and made no suspected movement before blowing himself up,” Lahore police spokesperson Syed Mubashir said.
He said that two suspects have been taken into custody.
The Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JeA), a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the attack and directed the Punjab government to provide all assistance to the injured and families of victims. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has ordered an inquiry.
Educational institutions near the shrine have been closed for today.
The shrine is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year.