According to the authorities, a bomb that exploded near the Data Darbar Sufi shrine in the city of Lahore has killed at least 9 people, wounding about 20 others. City police chief Ghazanfar Ali confirmed that police officers have been the primary target of the attack, adding that hundreds of pilgrims were inside and outside the Sufi shrine at the moment of the blast.
Explosion rocks #Lahore on second day of #Ramjan near Data Darbar's Gate No 2, a Sufi Srine. Police van(Elite force) is said to have been the target. Initial reports indicate 5 dead & 19 injured.#Pakistan pic.twitter.com/jOZqh3LIRi— (((Eagle eye))) (@cbinewton) May 8, 2019
A few hours after the blast, Hizbul Ahrar, a Pakistani Taliban splinter faction, claimed responsibility for it.
"This attack was carried out at a time when there were no civilians near the police", the statement by the militants read.
Muhammad Farooq, a spokesman for the city's rescue services, stated that seven or eight of the wounded were admitted to hospitals in critical condition.
Data Darbar, the largest Sufi shrine in South Asia, already survived a terrorist attack in 2010 when a suicide bomber killed dozens of pilgrims.