Bomb blast kills 3 in Pakistan's Lahore

2015-02-17 12:41
(Muhammed Giginyu, AP)

(Muhammed Giginyu, AP)

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Lahore - A bomb exploded in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Tuesday, killing at least three people, police said.

The blast happened close to the city police headquarters in the centre of the city, Pakistan's second-largest and the power base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

"According to initial reports it was a car bomb but we are still determining the exact nature of the blast," senior police official Haider Ashraf told AFP.

"At least three people have been killed in the explosion."

Lahore, Pakistan's cultural capital and seen as relatively liberal, has largely escaped the worst of the Islamist violence that has engulfed the country in the last decade.

The blast comes just days after 22 people were killed in a gun and suicide attack on a Shi'ite mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for Friday's attack in Peshawar, saying it was revenge for a militant known as Doctor Usman, who was hanged in December.

The country has stepped up its fight against militants since Taliban gunmen massacred more than 150 people, most of them children, at a school in Peshawar in December.

Following the massacre, Sharif ended a six-year moratorium on the death penalty and Doctor Usman, also known as Aqil, was one of the first to go to the gallows.

In claiming Friday's attack, the TTP vowed to continue their campaign of violence.

Since June last year the army has been waging a major campaign against strongholds of TTP and other militants in the North Waziristan tribal area, which lies close to Peshawar.

The military has heralded the success of the operation, which it says has killed more than 2 000 militants, though the precise number and identity of those killed cannot be verified independently.

Read more on:    nawaz sharif  |  pakistan  |  security

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