At least 26 people were killed and more than 50 others wounded in a Monday car bombing in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore. The Pakistani Taliban has since claimed responsibility for the attack, confirming reports that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. Local officials said the attack likely targeted the city’s police, who were attempting to clear illegal street vendors from a crowded main road. On Monday, a senior police official said at least nine officers were among the dead.
While describing the incident, witnesses in the area reported hearing a “deafening” sound near a vegetable market and large office tower in southern Lahore. Footage from scene shows a smashed vehicle and windows blown out of nearby buildings. Police said that rescue workers have transported the wounded victims to a local hospital while investigation teams inspect the site.
In the wake of the attack, multiple Pakistani officials, including the nation’s president and prime minister, have shared their condolences. “No words can express the grief which grips my heart right now. [The] blast destroyed many families, but terrorists can never destroy our resolve,” said the chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Shehbaz Sharif. The chairman of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party also lamented “another cowardly, condemnable terrorist attack,” and called on his party’s members in Lahore to “suspend all political activities [and] focus on providing assistance/support.”