13 FIA officials among 25 killed in Lahore twin blasts

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Lahore, Mar 11 : At least 25 people including 13 Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials were killed and over 200 others were injured when two bombs that ripped through a federal police headquarters and an advertising agency in Lahore on Tuesday.

The blasts were the latest in a wave of violence across Pakistan that has left more than 600 people dead this year and posed a serious challenge to an incoming coalition government that won elections on February 18.

The first attack demolished part of the FIA office in Lahore, exposing the inside of the building and leaving piles of blackened rubble and burning cars.

A police investigator said that the blast was a suspected suicide attack.

"We believe the suicide attacker came in a vehicle and hit the reception counter. We have recovered only a few pieces of the car which was used in the attack," investigations superintendent Babur Bakht Qureshi saud.

Police cordoned off the area while emergency workers carrying stretchers scrambled over the rubble. A car was set ablaze by the force of the blast and others were covered in downed electricity cables and rubble.

The building was evacuated because of fears it could collapse, television channels reported.

The second near-simultaneous blast hit an advertising agency in an upscale neighbourhood of the city killing another four people, Qureshi said. He said there were no further details, The News reported.

The latest explosions came a week after two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a prestigious naval college in Lahore, killing at least five people and wounding 19, officials said.

Pakistan has been rocked by six major blasts since the February 18 polls, which were won by the parties of slain ex-premier Benazir Bhutto and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

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