Blast near Hafiz Saeed’s house leaves 3 dead
At least three people were killed and more than 20 others injured, including policemen and children, when a car bomb went off a short distance from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed’s house in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Wednesday.
Among the injured were several policemen manning a checkpoint near the house of Saeed, who is currently serving a sentence in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail after his conviction for involvement in terror financing.
The site of the blast was near Saeed’s residence at BOR Society in Johar Town neighbourhood. A building was severely damaged by the explosion, which blew out the windows of nearby structures and hit several cars. The windows and walls of Saeed’s house, too, were damaged.
“As far as the question of the house of a high-value target is concerned, you would have seen there is a [police] picket near the house, and the car couldn’t get close to that house only because of the picket,” Punjab province’s police chief Inam Ghani told reporters at the site of the attack when he was asked if the blast was aimed at Saeed’s house. “Our view is that the target was the police and they wanted to undermine law enforcement agencies.”
There was no claim of responsibility for the blast and Ghani said officers were trying to ascertain whether the car bomb was triggered by a suicide attacker or detonated remotely.
Ghani confirmed three deaths. Some of the injured, including children, were in critical condition, said a spokesperson for Jinnah Hospital where the wounded were being treated.
Officials said many of the injured were hit by ball bearings packed into the bomb.
Fahim Ahmad, a witness, told reporters that a car parked close to a house had exploded, setting ablaze other cars and motorcycles. Images and footage aired by TV news channels showed badly damaged vehicles and homes, including a building with collapsed walls.
Saeed has been designated a terrorist by the United Nations and the United States, which has offered a $10mn bounty on him.
The LeT had carried out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people, but Saeed was never charged in connection with the carnage.