Eleven people – including eight children – were killed by an explosion Monday morning in eastern Pakistan, a hospital official said.
Fifty to 60 people with injuries were taken to an area hospital, said Dr. Naeem Sadiq, CNN International reports.
The blast occurred in a house near a school where children had gathered for religious education in the village of Mian Channu, Geo TV reported.
Several other homes nearby were destroyed in the blast and the death toll was expected to rise as many people were reported trapped in the rubble, United Press International reports.
Rana Sanaullah, provincial law minister, who also handles security matters, said police had arrested the owner of the house and he was a former activist of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, a banned Sunni Muslim militant group involved in sectarian violence against minority Shi'ite Muslims, Reuters reports.
Meanwhile Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the incident and said innocent people were falling victims to the acts by unscrupulous elements, who, for personal gains, were threatening the lives and property of common people.
Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani also condemned the incident and asked the provincial authorities to investigate the incident and submit him an immediate report as to how it occurred.
The Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has formed a committee to probe the explosion, Xinhua reports.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated