Pakistan

Minister rules out ‘terror link’ in Lahore restaurant explosion

LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah says initial forensic report of a blast at restaurant in Lahore’ Defence area didn’t find any ‘terror link’ to the explosion, ARY News reported.

Speaking to media here, Sanaullah said some leads were found, hinting that the explosion may have triggered by cylinder gas leakage inside the restaurant.

“No proofs of explosives detonation have been found in the forensic report,” he added.

The minister said so far investigation into the explosion suggested that it occurred in the wake of ‘negligence’.

He underlined that Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority will take its course accordingly on misreporting about the blast by some sections of the press.

Regarding a question, Sanaullah said snap checking had been beefed up across the city for the security of citizens.

Blast triggered shock and fear

At least eight people were killed and more than 21 injured when an explosion ripped through a restaurant in Defence area of the Punjab capital on February 23.

The explosion took place in the particularly affluent Defence Housing Authority suburb of the city, replete with upscale boutiques and cafes as well as an academy for the international hair salon.

The building where the explosion went off was under construction in a market crowded with people, including children.

Panic also spread on social media as citizens exchanged messages purporting to be warnings from intelligence agencies, including one that falsely stated a general curfew had been ordered in Lahore with shoot-on-sight orders.

The rumours underscored growing nervousness across the country as a series of assaults shook Pakistanis emboldened by what had been a prolonged lull in violence.

The attacks included a previous bomb in Lahore on February 13 which killed 14 people, and a devastating suicide blast at a Sufi shrine in Sindh province that left 90 devotees dead.

 

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