PTI

At least three people were killed and 20 others injured on Thursday in a powerful blast at the Paan Mandi in Lahore's famous Anarkali market, where Indian commodities are sold, police said.

Lahore police spokesperson Rana Arif confirmed the death of three persons in the blast that shattered windows of nearby shops and buildings, Dawn newspaper reported.

According to police, the blast took place near the Paan Mandi, where Indian commodities are sold.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast so far.

"We are ascertaining the nature of blast. Over 20 people have been injured in blast and shifted to hospitals," Deputy Inspector General Police Operation Dr Mohammad Abid told reporters at the site of the blast near Lahore's historic Walled City.

Abid did not rule out the possibility of a time device implanted in a motorcycle or placed at the market.

Officials are suspecting that the blast was of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as a deep crater was formed at the site of the blast.

"The crater at the blast site indicated the possibility of a time device. However, at this stage we can't confirm this," he said.

The Counter Terrorism Department and Bomb Disposal Squad officials have reached the spot and are examining the nature of the blast, he said.

According to the Rescue 1122, the injured have been shifted to the Mayo Hospital where two succumbed to their injuries.

Mayo Hospital medical superintendent Dr Iftikhar said that two persons including a boy succumbed to their wounds. He said the condition of four injured brought to the hospital is critical.

A good number of motorcycles and vendors' stalls were also damaged on the blast.

Police have cordoned off the area. The whole Anarkali Bazaar is shut after the blast.

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