A suicide attack at a religious gathering in Raiwind left nine people dead, including five policemen, and left over a dozen others injured on Wednesday night.

According to the details provided by DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf, the explosion occurred near a police camp which was set up for the security of the annual congregation of Tebleeghi Jamaat in Raiwind. He said that the target of the attack appeared to be police personnel and not the congregants.

Asharf said two sub-inspectors and three constables were among the martyred while the injured include Raiwind ASP and SHO.

“It looks like a suicide blast… body parts of the bomber have also been recovered,” said the police officer.

As soon as the blast occurred at night, a panic situation ensued and people from the nearby camps also rushed to the site of the blast to help the injured. Those who got injured were rushed to the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital (THQ) Raiwind, where some of them were listed in critical condition. There are fears that the death toll might rise even further.

Meanwhile, IG Punjab Captain (retd) Arif Nawaz Khan has directed to declare a security high alert in the province. Khan has asked the CCPO Lahore and all RPOs and DPOs to strengthen security in their respective regions and districts.

He also directed to intensify operations of search, sweep, combing and intelligence, while increase security for sensitive installations, educational institutes, places of worships and markets.

Defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.