69 killed, 300 injured as suicide blast hits public park in Pakistan's Lahore
At least 69 people including a large number of women and kids were killed and over 300 others injured when a suicide bomber hit a public park in Pakistan's east Lahore city on Sunday evening, Xinhua reported with the reference to officials.
Deputy Coordination Officer Lahore, Captain Usman, said that the killed people included 23 kids whereas 56 injured children were shifted to various hospitals of the city.
Haider Ashraf, the Deputy Inspector General Police, said that the suicide bomber blew himself up in the parking stand near the gate of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in the Lahore city, the capital of the country's east Punjab province.
He said that the stand was located near the kids' swing area and ticket booth and the bomber chose it to explode himself for targeting a large number of people in which he succeeded.
He said that the park was crowded than usual due to Sunday's holiday and a number minority Christian people was also visiting it to celebrate the Easter festival, when the blast happened.
A Pakistan Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide attack in Lahore that killed over 60 people and injured over 300 on Sunday.
"We claim responsibility for the attack on the Christians as they were celebrating their religious festival," spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jamaat ul Ahrar, Eshansullah Ehsan said.
The government of Punjab announced three-day mourning over the incident whereas the governments in the country's south Sindh and southwest Balochistan province announced one-day mourning.
Both the country's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the blast and directed hospital administration to provide best possible medical treatment to the injured people.
Sharif, who was scheduled to leave for UK Monday, postponed his visit to review the security situation in the country.
The country's army chief also held a high level meeting and directed concerned commanders, Intelligence agencies to commence operations as soon as possible to find linkages and perpetrators of the suicide attack, the Inter-Services Public Relations, the mouthpiece of Pakistani army said.
International community including the US, Turkey and India also condemned the blast.