Published: Sat, February 25, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Turkey condemns deadly terror attack in Pakistan

The powerful explosion blew out the windows of several buildings and damaged cars.

An second explosion in Lahore's Gulberg area came hours after a blast at another upscale market killed at least five people and wounded 21. First, provincial government authorities said it was a "generator explosion", but then a Punjab police spokesman described it as a bomb blast, a claim corroborated by the Counter Terrorism Department.

Police have cordoned off the site and an investigation has been launched, officials said.

After the shrine bombing, Pakistani security forces said they had killed more than 100 suspected militants in targeted campaigns across the country. Islamabad claims that Pakistani Taliban use Afghan soil to stage terrorist attacks across Pakistan, a charge Kabul denies.

A few days earlier the same market was evacuated by law enforcement agencies after a bomb threat.

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One officer said the material that exploded might have been stored in the building. "Nothing can be said about the nature of blast yet".

In a statement published late Thursday, the Foreign Ministry said Turkey expresses solidarity with the "friendly and brotherly people and Government of Pakistan".

The spike is raising fresh questions over whether Pakistan's longtime support for militants that target India and Afghanistan is coming home to roost.

Hikmat was the mastermind of the attack on Punjab Assembly in which at least 10 people were killed and dozens injured in the attack near Punjab Assembly on February 13.

Pakistan has accused neighbouring Afghanistan of harbouring the militants who have carried out the attacks.

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