Suspected Suicide Bomber Kills More Than 50 in Pakistan Parkby and
Television images show chaotic scenes after blast in Lahore
Many women, children among casualties in Easter Sunday attack
A suspected suicide-bomb blast in a park in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore killed at least 55 people on Sunday and injured more than 100.
Many children and women were among the casualties of the explosion in the crowded park, said Punjab deputy inspector general of police Ashraf Haider, who spoke by telephone. He added that the attack was thought to have been carried out by a suicide bomber and that the “death toll will go up.”
The area was crowded with Christians celebrating the Easter holidays, and many families were leaving the park when the blast occurred, Ashraf said, according to the Associated Press, which also reported that a breakaway Pakistani faction of the militant Taliban group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pakistani television showed video of people running from the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park in a residential part of the city that is the political base and home town of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He took power after 2013 elections vowing to stamp out the extremism and terrorism which had shattered the South Asian nuclear power’s economy.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s appalling terrorist attack,” U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in an e-mailed statement. “Attacks like these only deepen our shared resolve to defeat terrorism around the world.”
Pakistan is fighting Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants based in the country’s rugged northwest region. More than 60,000 people have died in the violence since 2001.