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Pakistan suicide bombings kill at least 39, injure dozens more

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Dozens killed in blasts
  • Double suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan kills at least 39
  • Assailants targeted military convoy, detonating explosives 15 to 20 seconds apart
  • Second attack on military personnel in Lahore this week
  • Taliban claimed responsibility for attack killing 13 people on Monday

Lahore, Pakistan (CNN) -- Twin suicide blasts in Lahore killed at least 39 people and injured 95 others Friday in a high-security area with a dense military presence, local police said.

The suicide assailants targeted military convoys, approaching on foot and detonating their explosives 15 to 20 seconds apart, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah said on local television. Five of the dead were Pakistani soldiers, he said.

The blasts, which occurred around 12:30 p.m. (2:30 a.m. ET) in Pakistan's second most populous city, ripped through a busy market area near the security area. The streets were crowded just before the start of Friday prayers, according to CNN affiliate Geo TV.

Hours later, a third blast shook the Moon Market area of Lahore, said Rai Nazar Hayat, a Lahore Police spokesman. He said the nighttime explosion was not as serious as the earlier twin blasts.

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The investigation so far indicates that the bomb was "planted," he said. No one was hurt.

Later Friday night, four low-level blasts occurred in succession in the Iqbal Town area of the city, not far from Moon Market. All of the blasts resulted in no casualties and minimal damage, said Lahore Police, who added they believe the small explosions are intended to terrorize residents.

The twin blasts mark the second attack on military personnel in Lahore this week.

On Monday, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide blast that killed 13 people in an affluent part of Model Town.

The attacker targeted the Special Investigation Agency, a provincial law-enforcement agency that investigates high-value detainees.

Seven of the dead were security personnel, and two were a mother and daughter on their way to school, Lahore government official Khalid Ranjha said.

Azam Tariq, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said the attack was in response to U.S. aggression against Muslims around the world.

On Wednesday, World Vision temporarily suspended its operations in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province after an attack on its office killed six employees.

Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire on the staff inside the humanitarian agency's compound before detonating a homemade bomb, according to a World Vision statement.

The violence comes amid a Pakistani crackdown on militants that has resulted in the arrests of top Taliban operatives.