Lahore, Feb 24 : A blast occurred in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Y-Block in Lahore on Thursday, claiming as many as eight lives. Panic gripped the defence housing area a little before noon when a loud blast reverberated across the block.
The blast took place inside an under-construction building with DIG operations Haider Ashraf stating that labourers were present inside when the explosion took place. An entire floor of the building collapsed because of the blast. Four cars and 12 motorcycles were also damaged, while the windows of nearby buildings were shattered.
The blast came a day after the military announced the launch of nationwide anti-terrorist operation in the wake of series of bloody assaults that have killed more than 130 people in the past two weeks. They included a previous bomb blast in Lahore on Feb 13 which killed 14 people, and a devastating suicide attack at a Sufi shrine in Sindh province that left 90 devotees dead.
The attacks, which were claimed by ISIS group and the Pakistani Taliban, dented growing optimism over the country’s security after it appeared to be making strong gains in its decade-and-a-half long war on militancy.
Pakistan has committed to hold the final of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore next month despite the surge in violence, part of an effort to bring international cricket back to the country, promising state-of-the-art level security for foreign players.
The city, capital of Punjab province and Pakistan’s second largest metropolis, had also been the scene of an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in 2009. Pakistan has not hosted high-level visiting teams since then.