Death Toll In Pakistani Park Bombing Hits 71

Grief enveloped Pakistan on Monday as the official death toll from a suicide bombing at a public park in Lahore rose to 69, with 341 people wounded.

But the local news media put the number of people killed at 71.

The Sunday’s suicide bombing was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban’s Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction, which once declared loyalty to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, saying it was targeting Christians.

The attack within the power base of the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, was Jamaat-ur-Ahrar’s fifth bombing since December.

Reuters reports that at least 29 children enjoying an Easter weekend outing were among those killed when the suicide bomber struck in a busy park in the eastern city of Lahore. Pakistan is a majority-Muslim state but has a Christian population of more than two million.

Police investigators said a suicide bomber had detonated explosives in a vest during the evening rush hour on Sunday at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, one of the largest public parks in this eastern city.

Prime Minister Sharif arrived in Lahore on Monday morning and visited Jinnah Hospital to show solidarity with the victims. He said he was deeply grieved and vowed to bring the culprits to justice.

Later, he met with senior government officials and pledged to eliminate terrorism, The New York Timesreports.

“Our resolve as a nation and as a government is getting stronger, and the cowardly enemy is trying for soft targets,” Sharif said during the meeting. “Our goal is not only to eliminate terror infrastructure but also the extremist mind-set, which is a threat to our way of life.”

A military spokesman, Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa, said intelligence raids had been carried out in three cities in Punjab Province, of which Lahore is the capital, after the attack, and that a “number of terrorists and facilitators were arrested.” However, he gave no further details about the identities of those arrested or whether they were connected to Sunday’s bombing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *