LAHORE  -    At least 32 injured of Data Darbar suicide attack were shifted to Mayo Hospital on Wednesday. Six critically injured breathed their last at the health facility, taking the death toll to nine including four policemen. Body parts of suicide bomber were also shifted to the morgue.

Presently, 26 injured including four in critical condition are under treatment at Mayo Hospital.

The Punjab government declared emergency at Mayo Hospital soon after the tragic incident targeting police van.

Secretary Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Saqib Zafar visited the hospital to inquire after of injured. He directed provision of quality healthcare facilities to the injured. He directed consultants and senior doctors to supervise the treatment process.

Ghulam Farid, an injured under treatment at the hospital, said that he was in the close vicinity of the entrance gate when the suicide bomber exploded him. “My both hands were injured. I don’t know the exact source of injury”, he said.

Another injured Aurangzeb said that he fell unconscious after hearing loud explosion.

“I found myself on the hospital bed on getting senses. I have injuries on abdomen and both legs. I am feeling better after dressing and taking medicines”, he said.

Muhammad Yousaf said that he was going to purchase a bread when he heard huge explosion. “I saw police van was attacked. I sustain minor injuries. I myself come to the hospital for required dressing”, he said.

Muhammad Asif said that he stopped and was shell shocked to see the flames after huge explosion. “I was heading toward the gate. I could have sustained much serious injuries if the attack was delayed by just a minute. I got minor injuries on abdomen”, he said.

Ten people, including four policemen and two private security guards, were killed in a suicide attack on the Elite Police Force vehicle. Another 20 people including policemen were wounded in the blast that shattered years of relative calm in the metropolis.

Investigators say the suicide bomber tried to enter the shrine but he detonated the explosive device strapped to his chest after being stopped by policemen at the checkpoint right outside the main gate of the shrine.

The blast took place at 8:44am near Gate No 2 which is specified for entry of woman and VIPs to the shrine.

Hizbul Ahrar, an off shoot of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed credit for the brutal terror attack. The Taliban suicide bombers, in recent years, attacked police force many times in Lahore. Again, the police were the prime target in the Wednesday’s suicide attack.

Punjab Police Inspector General Arif Nawaz Khan told reporters that the bomber targeted the police van guarding the largest Sufi shrine in the South Asia. “Definitely, police were the target,” Khan said.

The counter-terrorism department late Wednesday registered the First Information Report (FIR) of the incident against three suspects. The police were examining CCTV footage collected from various locations to identify the bomber and his facilitators.

A video-clip shared with reporters a teen clad in Sahlwar Kameez and waistcoat was moving towards the Elite Police vehicle outside the main gate (No 2) of the shrine.

Another clip shows the bomber coming towards the gate of the shrine where the police vehicle was parked after crossing the main road from Minar-e-Pakistan side.  Emergency was declared in all public hospitals soon after the blast which shook the city’s downtown in the morning. Most of the shopkeepers were yet to open their businesses and traffic movement was also thin on the roads at the time of the blast.

Eyewitnesses described the blast as horrific and very powerful. “It was very loud explosion. I immediately sat down as the broken windowpanes of a nearby shop hit my head,” says Ahmad who was under medical treatment at the Mayo Hospital. More than 20 people were shifted to the Mayo Hospital and many among the victims were in critical condition, rescue workers said.