A powerful blast in Pakistan's Punjab province's provincial capital Lahore has claimed at least two lives and injured dozens, in what is being seen as a targeted terror attack.
The banned Baloch National Army has claimed responsibility for the attack.
As per locals, Lahore's hub of wholesale markets, located around the Lohari Gate area, which is a congested and densely-populated vicinity, was rocked by a powerful blast, claiming lives of at least two, including one teenager, and injuring at least 25 others. Among the injured, 22 are men while three are women.
"The blast was so powerful that we could see things flying in the air," said a local shopkeeper of the area.
Officials are suspecting that the blast was of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as a deep crater was formed at the site of the blast.
"Investigation is in the initial stage and the nature of the blast can not be ascertained without a probe," said DIG Operations Lahore Dr. Muhammad Abid Khan.
Meo Hospital, the closest to the blast site, has received at least 27 people till now, out of which, at least two people were received dead, while 25 others are under treatment. Hospital authorities say that at least 5 more are in critical condition.
The blast was so powerful that at least nine shops and establishments got damaged, including a private bank, while dozens of motorbikes, stalls and other roadside selling points caught fire.
Security forces cordoned off the area to carry out investigation into the tragic incident.
Lohari gate area is part of Lahore's old city, with narrow streets and congested localities. The market is known to be frequented by lower class and poor people, who opt to buy cheaper things for themselves.
At the time of the blast, a big number of locals were present in the market.