At least nine people were killed and 15 others injured in a suicide blast near the Arfa Karim IT Tower on Lahore’s Ferozepur Road on Monday afternoon, police officials said.

SP Imran Awan confirmed that more than nine bodies have been shifted to the hospital. At least three of the deceased people are policemen, he added.

According to Awan, an anti-encroachment drive was underway in the area when the explosion took place. The anti-riot police officials were deployed for the drive.

15 others have been injured, confirm police officials.

The injured include six policemen. Rescue 1122 teams have shifted them to nearby hospitals where emergency has been imposed.

Police and other law enforcement personnel have reached the site of the incident and cordoned off the area. Forensics teams have started collecting evidence from the blast site, after which the nature of explosion will be confirmed.

The cause or nature of the explosion has not been ascertained as yet.

The area where the explosion occurred is a busy locality near the office of Punjab chief minister.

This is a breaking story that is being developed as more information becomes available. Initial reports in the media are sometimes inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.