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At least 18 dead in suicide bombings in Lahore

world Updated: Jul 02, 2010 00:56 IST

Three suicide bombers struck a Sufi shrine in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore on Thursday, killing at least 18 people and wounding 45, officials said.

A large number of devotees were visiting the shrine of the Persian Sufi saint, Syed Ali Hajwairi, in the heart of the city when the attacks occurred.

"One attack took place at the gate of the shrine and two were in the basement," Sajjad Bhutta, the top city administrator, told Reuters.

The shrine at Data Darbar is one of the most famous in Pakistan, attracting hundreds of devotees every night, with

Thursdays being the most popular nights.

The complex includes a mosque and a police station in the basement.

Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan, has suffered from frequent violence in recent weeks.

More than 80 people were killed in twin attacks on the mosques of the minority Ahmadi sect in May.