The explosion has left many dead and injured at a park in Pakistan’s Lahore.
By: Roshni Kapur
At least 69 people have been killed and many wounded in a bomb blast at a public park in the city of Lahore, Pakistan. The blast in Lahore took place last evening where more than 300 people are wounded.
The police suspects that the explosion took place after a suicide bomber blew him up in the park. A Pakistani Taliban faction known as Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has claimed responsibility for the lethal attack which it intentionally targeted Christians.
“We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore,” a spokesman for the faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan was quoted in an online article on Daily News & Analysis.
“He can do what he wants but he won’t be able to stop us. Our suicide bombers will continue these attacks,” he further commented.
The Gulshan Iqbal Park is a popular place for members of Lahore’s Christian community where many families had gone there to celebrate Easter. Police Superintendant Mustansar Feroz said most of the causalities were women and children.
Witnesses said that a stampede started that separated children from their parents in a bid to flee. Hasan Imran, 30, a local resident who had gone to the park for a walk was quoted in an online article on Reuters: “When the blast occurred, the flames were so high they reached above the trees and I saw bodies flying in the air.”
Reuters also reported that the army was deployed to control crowds outside the park.
Pakistan’s president, Nawaz Shariff has condemned the attack and the regional government has declared three days of mourning. Shariff was born in Lahore and has a political powerbase in the province. All the major hospitals in the vicinity are also placed on an emergency footing.
Social media giant Facebook has activated its feature for Lahore residents to mark themselves as safe from the attacks.
History of attacks
Islamist militants in Pakistan have carried out many violent attacks on Christians and other religious minorities in the last decade. Many Christians accuse the government for not doing enough to protect them.
In March last year, suicide bombers attacked a Christian community in Lahore by setting off two bombs killing 14 people and wounded many more.
The Pakistani Taliban said they were behind that attack and cautioned that more were to come. In 2013, suicide bombers ravaged a church in the city of Peshawar where more than 80 people were killed.Follow us on Social Media
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