At least 5 killed in Lahore blast in northeast Pakistan

KARACHI - At least five people were killed and 18 others injured as a powerful blast rocked a police residential complex in the northeastern city of Lahore, the chief of Punjab province said.

Local media, however, claim that eight people were killed and more injured.

City police chief Aneen Wains told reporters that it was a suicide attack, "The suicide bomber wanted to enter the police residential compound but he blew himself up prematurely due to tight security."

Jamat ul Ahrar, a splinter group from the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that they would continue to target security forces in retaliation to ongoing military operations in tribal areas.

"I saw human bodies tossed in the air and fall meters away as the blast was so large," Mashkoor Hussein, an eyewitness, told local Dunya TV. 

"I threw myself on the ground to save myself from pieces of stones, bricks and other objects flying in the air," he said. 

The blast smashed the windows of several nearby buildings. At least six vehicles parked outside the compound were badly damaged as thick smoke wafted upwards from burning vehicles.  

Pieces of human flesh, broken glass, blood-soaked shoes, clothes and other belongings were strewn all around the area. 

TV footage showed ambulances rushing to the scene and evacuating the injured to hospitals. 

The city's administration has imposed an emergency situation at all the city hospitals as doctors fear an increase in the death toll due to the critical condition of some of the injured. 

This is the second terrorist attack within a week in Pakistan. Terrorists attacked a Shiite Mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar killing 23 worshipers last week.

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