A powerful explosion at a busy market street in Lahore in eastern Pakistan has killed at least three people and wounded 45.

The bombing on Saturday took place near the popular Anarkali bazar, which was crowded with hundreds of people at the time of the blast, police officer Maroof Wahla said.

The wounded were taken to nearby hospitals, where some of the victims were listed in critical condition, he said.

Police said the bomb was planted and connected to a deep freezer in one of the restaurants in the city's food

Officers said the device was triggered with a timer, and that security officials had been put on alert in case of further attacks.

Provincial finance minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said that they were asking health officials to provide free treatment to the victims of the attack.

Rehman said the bomb was planted outside a restaurant and it went off as people were sitting and eating. He said that there were children among the dead and wounded.

Lahore is the home city of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is on a visit to neighbouring China.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack and police said they were still investigating.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies