Pakistan bomb blast kills four, including child

People gather outside a damaged auto shop after a deadly explosion in Lahore, Pakistan June 23, 2021 in this still image taken from social media video. @Usama7561/Sheikh Muhammad Usama via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) -A bomb attack in a residential area of Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore killed four people on Wednesday, including a child, and wounded 14, police said, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Among those wounded in the powerful blast were some police officers manning a checkpoint next to the house of Hafiz Saeed, the jailed founder of Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

"Apparently what we see is that our law enforcement agencies are the target," provincial police chief Inam Ghani told reporters. "You can see our police officials are also wounded."

Three people were killed, Ghani said. A police spokesman later said a four-year-old child had succumbed to his wounds.

Some of those wounded, including children, were in critical condition, a hospital spokesman said.

A car parked close to a house had exploded, setting ablaze nearby cars and motorcycles, a witness, Fahim Ahmad, told reporters at the scene.

Ghani said police were investigating whether the explosives were detonated remotely or by a suicide bomber. If not for the police checkpoint, the car could have reached Saeed's house, he added.

Lashkar-e-Taiba was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, some foreigners and Americans among them.

Saeed, who runs Jamat-ud-Dawa, a charity linked to the militant group, was sentenced in November to 10 years in jail after being found guilty on two charges of financing terrorism.

A spokesman for the charity told Reuters Saeed was in prison and so not at his home on Wednesday.

Islamist militant groups have been trying to make a comeback after Pakistani army offensives in their sanctuaries along the Afghan border, but urban areas such as Lahore have largely escaped the violence.

The army has been battling the militants, who want to enforce their own harsh brand of Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority country.

(Writing and additional reporting by Asif Shahzad in Islamabad; Editing by Catherine Evans and Clarence Fernandez)

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