A suicide bomb blast has thwacked the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore after a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself killing 67 and injuring 300.
The suicide bomb set off while Christians were celebrating Easter at the city’s Gulshan Iqbal Park on Sunday. Many children and women are believed to be the victims, reports BBC.
Jamat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of Pakistan Taliban, claimed to have perpetrated the blast. It said that attack was deliberately planned.
“We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter,” said Ehansullah Ehsan, spokesperson for the Taliban group.
“Such attacks would not stop” he added.
BBC reports that suicide bomb exploded at the gate of the park and close to the kids’ ride. Meanwhile, victims were taken to hospitals.
“When the blast occurred, the flames were so high they reached above the trees and I saw bodies flying in the air,” said Hasan Imran (30), one of the onlookers in the park.
Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has expressed grief and criticised the attack.
Pakistan Nobel Prize laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai also criticised the massacre.“I am devastated by the senseless killing of innocent people today in Lahore,” said in a tweet. She was among the victims of Taliban shooting in 2012.
“Pakistan and the world must unite. Every life is precious and must be respected and protected.” she added.
— Malala Fund (@MalalaFund) March 27, 2016
The United States also condemned the attack. “This cowardly act in what has long been a scenic and placid park has killed dozens of innocent civilians and left scores injured,” said Ned Price, National Security Council spokesman in a report by CNN.
In March 2015, the Taliban faction attacked a Christian community in eastern Pakistan which claimed 14 lives and injured dozens.
In 2013, a suicide bombing at a Protestant church in northwest Pakistan killed 81 people. It was one of the deadliest attacks perpetrated against the Christian community.