MULTAN - As many as ten people were killed and 59 injured in a suspected suicide attack in Multan Sunday evening.

The death toll was feared to climb as hospital officials said that around 20 of the injured were critical.

The blast in a rickshaw stand at Vihari Chowk was initially believed to be caused by exploding of a cylinder installed in a van.

DCO Salim Zahid Gondal confirmed that it was a terror attack carried out by two suicide bombers. “Their ages were between 20 to 22 years,” he added. He said that the law enforcing agencies were investigating.

Multan CPO Azhar Akram said that the explosion occurred when a rickshaw crashed in to a motorcycle. “It seems the bomb was fixed on the motorcycle,” he said. The police also recovered ball bearings from the site of the blast, Akram added.

Sources in security agencies confirmed that there were two attackers who were riding a motorbike. Witnesses told the police that the suspected bombers violated one-way and rammed in a rickshaw when the blast took place in the bus junction.

The bomb disposal squad and a heavy contingent of police were called on site after the blast as a result of which a number of vehicles caught fire. Most of the deceased and injured were taken to Multan’s Nishtar Hospital.

An official said that the 59 injured were shifted to different government operated medical facilities. Emergency was declared at all hospitals of Multan and all medical and paramedical staff were called in. The district administration appealed to the citizens to donate blood for the injured as some people with multiple injuries were in critical condition.

In a press statement, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the terrorist attack and extended condolence to the families of victims. He directed the authorities concerned to provide special medical care to the injured.

The Governor Punjab Malik Muhammad Rafiq Rajwana and Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif expressed deep grief on the loss of life in the blast. The Chief Minister sought report from the district administration and police and issued order for providing free treatment to the injured.

Meanwhile, the district and high court bars strongly condemning the attack announced a strike on today. “We’ll observe a mourning day and no lawyer will appear before any court,” a statement issued by the high court bar read.

There has been a visible decline in terrorist attacks after the launch of military operation in North Waziristan and Khyber areas along the Afghan border. The measures adopted under the 20-point national action plan against terrorism and extremism has also begun to yield results.

However, the menace has not been controlled completely and fleeing terrorists have been trying off and on to strike wherever possible.