A powerful explosion ripped through a Muharram procession in central Pakistan’s Punjab province on Thursday, killing at least three people, including a seven-year-old girl, and wounding 59 others, the local government and police officials said. The incident took place in Bahawalnagar, some 260 kilometres from Lahore when a Shia procession was heading to an Imambargah as part of the annual Ashura commemoration.
The Punjab government issued the list of the dead and injured. According to it, three mourners lost their lives. It said the condition of three of the injured persons was critical.
“The (Shia) procession (was) comprising 500 men, women and children, when an explosion took place. It seems to be a terrorist activity," the report said, adding that most of the injured are young men. Punjab Home Minister Raja Basharat confirmed to the media that at least two people were killed in the attack carried out by a man who threw a hand grenade at the mourners in the procession which was passing near a mosque in Bahawalnagar.
He said the attacker had been arrested and pictures shared on social media showed police dragging a bearded and shirtless man in handcuffs. Basharat said besides the two people killed in the explosion, two of the injured were in critical condition and undergoing treatment at Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital, where all wounded had been shifted.
Videos circulating on social media showed people running around in panic after the blast and ambulances rushing injured persons to the hospital. A senior police officer told .