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Explosion kills 15, injures 20 in Pakistan’s Lahore

An explosion killed at least 15 people and injured 20 in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore Monday, rescue officials said, but it was not immediately clear what caused the blast.

“We have 15 confirmed (fatal) casualties and 20 injured,” Jam Sajjad Hussain, a spokesman for the Rescue 1122 service, told AFP.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan put the death toll at 14 in a press conference minutes after the attack, adding that it may rise.
Most of the casualties were police officers and some bystanders, he said.

“It is not yet confirmed if it is an incident of terrorism or an accidental explosion,” the interior minister added.
Lahore has been hit by significant militant attacks in Pakistan’s more than decade-long war on extremism, but they have been less frequent in recent years.
Explosions caused by gas cylinders — which are used for cooking as well as in cars — are also common in the country. A blast in Lahore earlier this year which was initially thought to be a militant attack turned out to be a gas explosion.
The city of around six million people is Pakistan’s cultural hub and the capital of its most powerful province, Punjab.