Gas leak, not bomb, behind Lahore blast: Punjab Law Minister

The explosion took place in the particularly affluent Defence Housing Authority suburb of the city, replete with upscale boutiques and cafes as well as an academy for the global hair salon Toni & Guy.

A day after a suspected "gas blast" killed at least eight people in Lahore, security forces carried out search operation in different localities of the city, arresting 14 suspects.

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

Citing a report of the forensic science laboratory, the minister said it confirmed the gas leakage at the site of the incident.

Initial reports on Pakistani television channel Geo News said a generator had exploded but reports at the scene speculated that a bomb had gone off, based on the extent of the damage.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif Thursday condemned in strongest possible terms the explosion in the Defence Housing Authority and expressed his heartfelt grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives. The magnitude of the blast, the impact, is very high.

Regarding the PSL final to be played in Lahore, Rana Sanaullah said that a meeting would be held on the matter today.

TV footage shows windows of several offices and eateries in the commercial area shattered by shrapnel. Five people were killed in multiple blasts in Charsadda's Tangi bazaar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday.

None of these groups appear to have been directly involved in a five-day spate of suicide bombings that shocked the nation last week, including one at a Sufi shrine full of devotees that killed 86 people.

Pakistan has been at war with the Taliban and allied Islamic militants who want to destabilize the nuclear-armed country to install their own harsh interpretation of Islam. The latest blast came as security has been tightened across Pakistan after a recent wave of terrorist strikes killed more than 100 people.

  • Leroy Wright