At least 69 people were killed in a suicide attack in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park of Allama Iqbal Town on Sunday evening, rescue sources said. Hospital sources added that over 250 were injured. The attack was claimed by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan Jamaatul Ahrar. Iqbal Town Superintendent Police Dr Muhammad Iqbal confirmed this was a suicide attack that took place at a children’s park, where a large number of families, especially women and children, were present.
The area is a renowned residential area of Lahore. The blast was just outside the exit gate and a few feet metres away from the children’s swings. DCO Captain (Retd) Muhammad Usman said the head of the suicide bomber was recovered. Ball bearings were also found at the site. The splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack and said it deliberately targeted Christians on Easter Sunday.
“We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter,” a spokesperson for the terrorist group said.
“It was part of our annual martyrdom attacks we have started this year,” he said and warned that more attacks would follow.
“We had been waiting for this occasion, we want to convey… to the prime minister that we we have arrived in Punjab and we will reach you,” it added.
Eye witnesses said there were pools of blood and scattered body parts spread across the site of the attack. Witnesses said they could hear children screaming as people carried the injured in their arms, while frantic relatives searched for loved ones in nightmarish scenes at the park near the centre of the city.”We took the injured to hospitals on rickshaws and taxis,” one eye witness said. He added that the crowd was “unusually large” because of Easter. “The roads were also jammed and queues of vehicles could be seen till Moon Market.” he added