- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2009

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Police official says at least 5 killed, 50 wounded in car bomb blast in Lahore.

A powerful bomb exploded in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Wednesday, ripping buildings apart and causing many casualties, according to officials and television footage.

The mid-morning blast occurred near the office of the emergency police service in the main business district of Lahore. The nearby office of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency was also badly damaged.

“There is a large number of casualties,” local government official Khoro Pervaiz told Dawn news channel.

Sporadic gunfire was heard in the area of the blast, and troops rushed to the scene.

Television footage taken shortly after the blast showed emergency workers carrying at least one body covered by a blanket to an ambulance, and injured bystanders mopping blood from wounds.

The blast comes as government forces are engaged in a major offensive against Taliban militants who have seized control of the northwestern Swat Valley.

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