12 people killed, 25 hurt in Pakistan auto bombing

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Police suspect that the explosion, which took place near the Arfa Karim IT Tower in Lahore, is a suicide attack, Pakistan daily Dawn reported.

According to police officials, it apparently seems the police personnel were the prime target of suicide bomber.

Minutes after the attack, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan put the death toll at 14 and said the toll may rise.

Another 54 people were injured after the bombing near a group of police guarding a demolition site at Kot Lakhpat vegetable market on the outskirts of the city.

Police and rescue officials cover a body after a blast in Quetta, Pakistan June 23, 2017.

At least 49 others were injured, according to Punjabi province health minister Salman Rafique. The head of the provincial government, Shahbaz Sharif, condemned the attack.

The bombing was claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, in a message sent to the media by spokesman Muhammad Khurassani. "It was a deafening blast, which shook the entire Arfa Karim Towers", Dil told AFP.

The blast, which rescue officials said had left 25 people wounded, struck near a popular vegetable market in the centre of the city.

The city administration declared an emergency in hospitals and appealed for blood donations. He also confirmed that it was a suicide blast.

PM Sharif directed the authorities concerned for extending best possible medical treatment for the injured.

Last year, in a terrorist attack in Iqbal Park targeting those celebrating Easter, 72 people had died and over 300 had been injured.

Lahore has been hit by significant militant attacks in country's more than decade-long war on extremism, but they have been less frequent in recent years.

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