Lahore- A bomb explosion in a car parked outside a hotel in the Police Lines on Egerton Road killed at least eight people today. The rescue teams have confirmed the death toll. The explosion caused a fire in the cars standing nearby. The nearby buildings were also damaged. The area has been sealed by the police, causing a traffic jam. The injured are being taken to the MAO hospital. 

Lahore has been put on high alert. According to DIG Operations Haider Ashraf, the explosion was a suicide blast.

The explosion came from a car near the police building, said spokeswoman Nabeela Ghazanfar, adding it was unclear if the attack involved a suicide bomber.

She said three people were dead but a police officer, who asked not to be named, said at least seven had died, citing colleagues in the area. It was unclear how many of the dead were police.

The blast was followed by rapid gunfire, said witness Ashraf Ali, who works at the press club nearby. He could see three bodies lying in the street.

Television channels later said the firing had stopped. Tehree­k-e-Taliba­n Pakist­an, Jamaat­ul Ahrar, has claime­d respon­sibili­ty for the attack­.

Pakistan has suffered two major militant attacks in the past month. Sixty people were killed in an attack on a Shi'ite mosque on Jan. 30 in the southern province of Sindh, and another attack this month on a Shi'ite mosque in the city of Peshawar killed 20.

Militant groups said this was a response to the government's lifting of a moratorium on the death penalty for those convicted of terrorist attacks.

The moratorium was lifted after a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar.

*This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly

*Quotes courtesy Reuters