At least eight persons were killed and over 30 injured when a suicide attacker blew himself up near a market in this eastern Pakistani city packed with people who were shopping on the eve of its independence day.
The suicide bomber, who was on a motorcycle, detonated his explosives outside a police station near Moon Market, one
of the largest markets in the posh Allama Iqbal Town neighbourhood, at about 11.30 pm last night.
The market was packed with people out celebrating ahead of Pakistan's 61st independence day. Most of the dead and injured were policemen, police officials were quoted as saying by TV channels. Five of the injured policemen were in a serious condition.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. The Pakistani Taliban had warned it would launch suicide attacks across the country if the government did not halt operations by security forces against militants in the tribal areas.
Rizwan Naseer, the head of the local rescue service, said police had cordoned off the site of the blast and launched an investigation. TV channels beamed footage of the suicide attacker's body parts, including his head which was reported to be largely intact.
Naseer said the policemen were apparently the target of the attack. Officials said there were reports of security threats in
the city and an alert had been sounded some days ago. Security was further tightened after the blast, they said. A total of
4,000 policemen have been deployed across Lahore to provide security for the independence day.