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One killed, 20 injured as blast targets police in Raiwind

One killed, 20 injured as blast targets police in Raiwind

At least eight persons, including four policemen, lost their lives and 20 others have been injured in a suicide blast which targeted a police check post in Raiwind on the outskirts of Lahore, Punjab Health Minister Salman Rafique told DawnNewsTV.

The police camp has been set up for the security of the annual congregation of Tableeghi Jamaat.

The attack took place in the suburb of Raiwind in Lahore, the main town of central Punjab province, near a mosque hosting a religious congregation of some 60,000 people.

Nature of the blast is not known yet.

Initial reports suggested, a motorbike was used in the blast, he said, adding that it could have been the act of a suicide bomber. However, rescuers say it was a cylinder blast.

He said the Rescue ambulances have shifted the injured to the Sharif medical complex and other nearby hospitals.

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The Pakistani Taliban leadership have fled to neighbouring Afghanistan from where Islamabad alleges they plan and execute terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.

The bombing was claimed by the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group in a statement sent to AFP, in which the jihadists threatened more attacks on police in retaliation for killing their "associates" in Punjab.

Security has been tightened following the attack and all exit and entry points to the vicinity have been secured.

"A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle attacked the police", Ashraf said.

"Five policemen - two inspectors and three constables - are among nine persons killed in the blast".

In February past year, 18 people were killed, including several police officials, and more than 80 wounded in a suicide attack during a protest on a busy intersection of Lahore.