Families Killed in Easter Celebration in Lahore

Rescue workers move a body from the blast site Rescue workers move a body from the blast site © Mohsin Raza/Reuters

28 March 2016
Mostly women and children were killed in a suicide bomb at park with people celebrating Easter Sunday that killed at least 70 people and wounded more than 300 others. 

A suicide bomb has killed at least 70 people, mostly women and children, and wounded more than 300 others celebrating Easter Sunday at a park in Lahore, Pakistan. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack that was aimed at Christians.

The Counter-Terrorism Department Lahore issued a First-Information Report claiming that four individuals were involved in the attack at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park on Sunday. The individuals were stopped at the gate of the park, but one managed to get in and detonated his bomb in the crowd. The other three suspects managed to get away amongst the people rushing away from the scene of the blast.

“I was a few blocks away from the blast. Many people were running and screaming like the world had collapsed. Until when will we see our loved ones getting killed in such attacks?” said witness Mian Ashraf.  The government has announced three days of mourning in Lahore, closing schools and markets on Monday.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, warned that the attack was a message for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to acknowledge their presence in Lahore, and that suicide bombers will continue to attack without being stopped.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement strongly condemning the suicide bombing longing for  the perpetrators of this appalling terrorist act to be brought swiftly to justice, according to human rights obligations. The UN calls on the Government of Pakistan to place protective measures that ensure the personal security of all individuals, including those from a religious minority community. “All people in Pakistan have the right to peaceful lives. Brutality such as that in Lahore contradicts that universal right. Our thoughts are with the Pakistani people, with the victims and their families,” said the UN system in Pakistan.

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