Blast outside Lahore High Court kills 20

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Lahore, Jan.10 : A powerful blast near a police post and just metres away from the Lahore High Court killed 20 people on the spot and injured many on Thursday.

It is stated that the casualties may go up.

Over 30 people, many of them police officers, were injured in the explosion in the city's main commercial district. Several of the victims were seen lying motionless in the street.

The blast ripped through a busy square in front of the Lahore High Court, where police were gathering ahead of a protest by the city's lawyers against the rule of President Pervez Musharraf.

"We don't know the exact number but at least seven people have been killed. That number may rise," said senior city police officer Aftab Cheema. The target appeared to be policemen outside the court, witnesses said.

It comes two weeks after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in a gun and suicide bomb attack in the northern city of Rawalpindi, amid a wave of militant violence across the country.

It is suspected that the bomb was planted in a bi-cycle and it ripped the gathering of lawyers who were preparing for a rally.

In 2007, over 800 people have been killed in Pakistan in militant attacks. The year has been described as one of thedeadliest in the country's history in terms of violence.

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