ISLAMABAD: Chinese government on Tuesday expressed shock and strongly condemned the deadly suicide bombing in Lahore in which several innocent lives were lost.

“We condemn this terrorist attack and extend deep condolences to the victims.” a statement from the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Pakistan said.

“We honor the law-enforcement officials who sacrificed their lives in the explosion,” the statement said.

“We express sincere sympathy to the families of the victims and hope the wounded recover at an early date,” the statement said.

An explosion near the Punjab Assembly in Lahore killed at least 13 people and wounded dozens on Monday, a local emergency rescue service said.

Mushtaq Sukhera, inspector general of police in Punjab, said five police officers were among the dead when an explosion rocked a protest organised by chemists and pharmaceuticals manufacturers.

"It was a suicide attack. The bomber exploded himself when successful negotiations were underway between police officials and the protesters," Sukhera told reporters.

Among the dead are eight victims at Ganga Ram Hospital and five have been identified as Bilal Amjad of Ravi Park, Mohsin Irshad of Sheikhupura, Umar of Malik Park, and two elite force members Muhammad Aslam and Irfan Mahmood.

Security in Pakistan has vastly improved in recent years but militant groups such as the Taliban and Islamic State still pose a threat and have carried out mass attacks.