LAHORE: At least six people were martyred and 15 others wounded Wednesday morning when a suicide bomber targeted a population census team in Lahore’s Bedian Road, officials said.

Malik Ahmed Khan, a spokesperson for the Punjab government, confirmed the explosion to be a suicide attack. “The target seems to have been the census team and the soldiers accompanying them,”

Khan confirmed that four military personnel were martyred in the bombing, and at least 15 people were wounded.

“The chief minister Punjab has called an emergency meeting of all security personnel,” said the spokesperson, “The Inspector General Police and the provincial intelligence representatives will be attending.”

A spokesperson of the Punjab police, Nayab Haider said they suspect “the suicide bomber was on foot. He came from behind the vehicles and detonated his vest.”

Further details, he added, would be released when the Counter Terrorism Department completes its investigation report.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday said that the data collection process will continue as per schedule, according to a statement.

The statement came after at least six persons were martyred Wednesday morning in a suicide bombing targeting a census team and accompanying security personnel on Lahore’s Bedian Road.

“The census proceedings will not be affected by the terrorist attack in Lahore,” a statement issued by the Bureau said. “The purpose of the attack apparently was to spread fear within the enumerators and other staff.”

A report about Punjab’s census proceedings was solicited, according to the statement issued by the Bureau’s spokesperson.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh AD Khawaja issued orders to make special arrangements to ensure the security of census teams working in sensitive areas on Wednesday.

The first phase of the sixth national population census – the first in 19 years – began in 63 districts across the country on March 15.

The first phase of the data collection process that will last until April 15, will be conducted in 16 districts of Punjab, eight districts of Sindh, 14 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 15 districts of Balochistan, five districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and five districts of Gilgit-Baltistan.

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