Three people were killed at at least 20 others injured on Wednesday afternoon as a blast rocked Pakistan's Lahore. The incident took place in a residential area, near a hospital in Johar Town. Incidentally, the blast also took pace at the police picket outside the residence of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed.
According to the police, there could have been a "major loss" had there been no police picket outside the house. Inspector General Police (IGP) Punjab Inam Ghani told reporters that three people had been killed and over 20 others injured.
While the cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained, some have pointed out that the timing of the incident coincides with the ongoing Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review session. Later this week, the global financing watchdog will announce its decision on whether Pakistan stays on the grey list or is removed from it. Being on the FATF grey list means that Pakistan is listed as a country which is at significant risk from issues such as money laundering and terrorism financing.
According to an update that quotes the Lahore Police chief, investigations are presently underway, and that it was too early to say whether the blast was due to an attack or an accidental gas explosion. "So far we have not been able to determine whether a gas pipeline burst or whether it was a cylinder," reports quoted a spokesperson for the emergency rescue team as saying.
Multiple witness account said that the glass windows of nearby houses and buildings have been shattered. According to the media reports, the sound of the blast was so loud that it was heard in faraway areas.
The house was cordoned through barbed wire and security personnel were deployed permanently to guard it. Top sources said that one of the policemen deployed for the security of the house was killed in the blast. The second person who died in the blast was a passer-by.