At least eight people including three policemen were killed in a blast near a Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s Lahore in the early hours of Wednesday as the country marks the fasting month of Ramadan.

At least 24 people have been injured in the explosion near Gate no. 2 of Data Darbar which was reportedly targeted at a mobile van of the Pakistani police’s Elite Force. The nature of the explosion has not been ascertained yet.

SP (City) Syed Ghazanfar Shah said that eight of those injured in the blast were critical. The wounded have been shifted to the Mayo Hospital, Dawn News reported.

The area was cordoned off and a heavy contingent of the police has been deployed there.

Police said they are investigating the nature of the blast, which occurred near the entrance gate for female visitors to the 11th Century Data Darbar shrine, one of the largest Sufi shrines in South Asia.

The death toll is expected to rise, Samaa TV said.

Rescue teams said that some passersby were also injured in the blast.

The shrine was targeted previously in a 2010 suicide attack that killed over 40 people.

(With agency inputs)