Blast in high security area in Lahore kills one


Lahore : A woman was killed and four persons were injured when a car bomb went off in a high-security residential complex for government officials in this eastern Pakistani city Wednesday.

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The explosion occurred at 9.20 am within the Government Officers Residences complex, an area in the capital of Punjab province where senior government officials and judges reside.

The dead woman was identified as Farzana Masih and her husband was among those injured in the blast, officials said.

The injured were taken to a local hospital. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

City police chief Pervez Rathore said the explosives were hidden in a pick-up truck with a government number plate and the vehicle was parked outside the home of a doctor.

The blast was so severe that the walls of several nearby houses collapsed. Police officials said up to 10 kg of explosives had been hidden in the truck, which broke into two.

Lahore Commissioner Khusro Parvez Khan said the registration number on the truck was the same as that of a vehicle belonging to the local water and power utility that was reported stolen some days ago.

Police believes the explosive-laden vehicle was to be moved to some other crowded area but this could not be done by the unknown attackers due to security measures in place.

No one was in the truck when it blew up, they said.

Rathore said strict security measures had been adopted to prevent any untoward incidents during the upcoming Muharram-ul-Haram.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the blast and directed authorities to submit a report on the incident at the earliest.