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Serial blasts rock Lahore, 8 injured

January 09, 2009 23:28 IST

At least eight persons were injured when five low-intensity bomb blasts rocked an empty theatre complex located on a key thoroughfare in this eastern Pakistani city on Friday.

The blasts occurred around the Al-Falah Theatre on Mall Road, located a short distance from the Punjab assembly. The theatre was closed for Muharram though some people had come to the hall to book tickets for a play to be staged on Saturday.

The first blast occurred at about 8.30 pm and two more explosions followed within a few minutes. The fourth blast occurred at about 8.45 pm, when police and rescue workers had reached the area. The fifth blast took place around 9 pm. All the blasts were of low intensity.  

Police arrested three men on suspicion of involvement in the blasts. They were taken away to an undisclosed location for questioning.

The theatre was cordoned off and loudspeakers were used to warn people to leave the busy commercial area. Roads leading to the site of the blasts were blocked and a bomb disposal squad scoured the theatre and nearby shops and buildings, TV channels reported.

Reports suggested that the first two blasts occurred inside the theatre while the third occurred outside. The blasts were heard from up to three kilometres away.

An emergency was declared in hospitals in Lahore [Images]. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Friday's attacks were similar to three bomb blasts that occurred in Lahore on November 22 outside a crowded stadium and an arts complex hosting an international festival. Four persons were injured in those blasts.

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