A Taliban suicide bomber who attacked a Pakistani park was targeting Christians. The death toll rose to 72, More than 300 people were wounded when explosives packed with ball bearings ripped through crowds near a children’s play area in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore. Where many had gathered to celebrate Easter.
Many wounded children were taken to Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital. Government announced markets, schools and courts were closed on Monday as the city mourned.
India Prime Minister Narender Modi Tweeted:
Heard about the blast in Lahore. I strongly condemn it. My condolences to families of the deceased & prayers with the injured: PM
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 27, 2016
“Pakistan is a Islamic Country- but has a Christian population of more than 2 Million”
The target was Christians said a faction spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan “We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore.”
Rescue spokeswoman Deeba Shahbaz said the toll had risen to 72 Monday, with 29 children among the dead. Senior police official Haider Ashraf confirmed the number killed, adding the majority of the dead were Muslims.
“The security forces have killed and arrested hundreds of suspected militants under the crackdown launched after the 2014 Peshawar school massacre”
Lahore is the capital of Pakistan’s richest province, Punjab,and is seen as the country’s political and cultural heartland.Witnesses described children screaming as people carried the injured in their arms, while frantic relatives searched for loved ones.
Pakistan has been plagued by militant violence for the last 15 years, since it joined a U.S.-led campaign against Islamist militancy after the “World Trade Center” Al-Qaeda attacks on the “United States of America” since 2001.