11 Killed in Blast Near Police Lines in Pakistan's Lahore

World | Agencies | Updated: February 17, 2015 17:13 IST

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lahore blast 650x400 71424173354 - 11 Killed in  blast Near  Police Lines in Pakistan Lahore

Pakistani security officials gather at the explosion site near the police headquarters in Lahore on February 17, 2015. (AFP)

Lahore: Eleven people were killed after a bomb exploded close to the police headquarters in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore today.

The blast hit just metres from an entrance to the police headquarters in the heart of the city, sending a column of black smoke rising above buildings.

"According to initial reports it was a car bomb but we are still determining the exact nature of the blast," senior police official Haider Ashraf told AFP.

Television footage showed several vehicles on fire after the explosion, which left the street littered with broken glass and debris from nearby buildings.

The blast comes just days after 22 people were killed in a gun and suicide attack on a Shiite mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for Friday's attack in Peshawar, saying it was revenge for a militant known as Doctor Usman, who was hanged in December.

The country has stepped up its fight against militants since Taliban gunmen massacred more than 150 people, most of them children, at a school in Peshawar in December.

Following the massacre, Mr Sharif ended a six-year moratorium on the death penalty and Doctor Usman, also known as Aqil, was one of the first to be hanged.

He was convicted for an attack on the army headquarters in Rawalpindi in 2009 and was arrested after being injured.

In claiming Friday's attack, the TTP vowed to continue their campaign of violence.

Since June last year the army has been waging a major campaign against strongholds of the TTP and other militants in the North Waziristan tribal area, which lies close to Peshawar.

The military has heralded the success of the operation, which it says has killed more than 2,000 militants, though the precise number and identity of those killed cannot be verified independently.

Lahore has remained relatively peaceful during the TTP's seven-year campaign of attacks, which has left thousands of civilians dead