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Large blast hits protest rally in Pakistan's Lahore

A motorcycle bomb struck a crowd of protestors in Lahore, killing several people and wounding dozens. A faction of the Taliban claimed credit for the attack.

A man rammed a bomb-laden motorcycle into a crowd of hundreds of pharmacists protesting a new drug law in Lahore late Monday, killing at least ten people and wounding another 60, police said.

Live television footage showed smoke rising into the air as people scattered from the scene of the protest near the local provincial assembly.

Among those killed were at least two senior police officers, the country's minister of defense, Khawaja Asif, said on Twitter.

A splinter of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, claimed credit for the attack, saying it was in revenge for Pakistani military operations in tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan. The terror outfit regularly carries out attacks throughout Pakistan.

The country's cultural capital, Lahore was hit by one of Pakistan's worst attacks last year, when a suicide bomb targeting a park on Easter that left more than 70 dead, including many children. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar also claimed credit for that attack. 

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar also claimed a bomb attack last year in on a hospital in the southwestern city of Quetta that killed more than 70 people, mostly lawyers who had gathered to mourn the president of the Baluchistan Bar Association, Bilal Kasi, who had been shot dead earlier in the day. The "Islamic State" also claimed credit for that attack.

cw/rc (AFP, AP)

 

 

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