Blast near shrine in Pakistan, nine dead

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 00:41s

Blast near shrine in Pakistan, nine dead

At least nine people have been killed in a blast at a security checkpoint outside a major Sufi shrine in the Pakistani city of Lahore, according to officials.

Rough cut - no reporter narration.

Blast near shrine in Pakistan, nine dead

(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) At least nine people were killed by a blast targeting a security checkpoint outside a major Sufi shrine in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Wednesday (May 8), 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, which was cordoned off by security forces.

Ashfaq Khan, deputy inspector general of police operations in Lahore said police was the prime target in the attack.

Many people were wounded and Muhammad Farooq, a spokesman for the city's rescue services, said at least seven or eight of them were in critical condition.

Sufis, who follow a mystical form of Islam that has been practiced in Pakistan for centuries, have been attacked by hardline Sunni Muslim militants in the past but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Militant violence has declined sharply in Pakistan following a sustained crackdown in recent years and over the past two years Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city, has been free of the kind of attacks that were once common.

However, officials warned that the attack highlighted the need for vigilance by people gathering for worship during Ramadan.

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