At least nine dead, multiple injured in Lahore blast

A bomb exploded at a protest in the northeastern Pakistani city of Lahore on February 13, killing at least 10 people and wounding many others, Reuters and Pakistani news outlets reported.

An explosion near the provincial assembly present in Pakistan's Lahore injured several people, according to the local media.

A group called Jamaat-ul-Ahrar said it carried out the attack in a text message, saying it was revenge for Pakistani military operations against militants in tribal regions along the Afghan border.

Sameer Ahmad, the Lahore deputy commissioner, said at least 11 people were killed and 58 wounded.

Police in the southern Pakistani port city have confirmed the gun assault left an assistant cameraman dead.

Police and contingent from Pakistan army and paramilitary troops have cordoned off the area for investigation. The hundreds of protest attendees were pharmacists and medical shop owners protesting a recent drug sale law.

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Mulayan Singh Yadav, who was speaking to reporters outside Parliament, dismissed reports of intra-party differences. He even asked the SP workers to contest 105 seats which are being given to the Congress as an agreement.

TV footage from the scene also showed policemen and protesters carrying injured people on their shoulders, running towards ambulances and private vehicles impeded by congested traffic.

Security has been hightened in other parts of the country, reports said. Cars near the blast site caught fire as thick smoke filled the air.

A Taliban faction claimed the attack, Al Jazeera reported.

Political leaders including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah condemned the incident.

Last year, a bombing had taken place in a public park of the city that killed almost 70 people.

Pakistan's worldwide tournaments have been held overseas for years out of security fears, and the second year of the popular Twenty20 tournament is now being held in the United Arab Emirates.

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