The toll from the blast near a Sufi shrine in Lahore rose to 11 on Thursday with the death of a police official, Radio Pakistan reported. At least 26 people were injured in the explosion, which took place near Gate 2 of Data Darbar at 8.45 am on Wednesday. The Elite police force was the target of the explosion.
The official identified as Saddam Hussain died while undergoing treatment at the Mayo Hospital in Lahore. Shahbaz Gill, spokesperson for chief minister of Punjab, said the bomber was a 15-year-old boy, Geo TV reported.
According to a report in Dawn, closed-circuit television footage showed the suspected bomber, aged between 15 and 17 years, wearing a coat, walking around the shrine shortly before the blast. As soon as the suspect reached near the Elite Police van, a powerful blast occurred.
The Hizbul Ahrar, an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reported. “This attack was carried out at a time when there were no civilians near the police,” said Abdul Aziz Yousafzai, a spokesman for the militant group.
Data Darbar is one of the largest shrines in South Asia, Reuters reported, quoting Punjab province police spokesperson Nayab Haider. In 2010, more than 40 people were killed in a suicide blast at the shrine.