A Taliban faction claims responsibility for a blast near the provincial assembly in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Police and rescue teams work at the scene of a blast in Lahore, Pakistan.
Police and rescue teams work at the scene of a blast in Lahore, Pakistan.

A massive explosion claimed by a faction of the Taliban, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, hit a crowd of protesters in the Pakistani city of Lahore, near Punjab's provincial assembly on Monday.

According to a local emergency rescue service, at least 13 people were killed and another 89 wounded when the explosion seemingly targeted a protest organised by Pakistan's chemist and pharmaceuticals manufacturers.

"Apparently it was a suicide blast but police are still investigating to know the exact nature of blast," said Punjab police spokesman Nayab Haider.

Haider also confirmed that two high-ranking police officials were killed.

Geo TV reported that the blast occurred in the city centre in the early evening.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the attacks will not weaken Pakistan's resolve in the fight against militancy.

The incident marks another tragedy for the city, which is still reeling after more than 70 people were killed in a public park last year on Easter Day.

Jamaat-ur-Ahrar also claimed responsibility for an Easter Day bombing in Lahore.

TRT World's Naveed Qamar has more details from Lahore.

More to follow...

Source: TRTWorld and agencies