Bomb Blasts Hits Pakistani Christians Leaving Park; Dozens Killed
A spokesman for the Punjab government in Pakistan says that a bomb attack on a park in the Pakistani city of Lahore has killed 60 people and injured 300.
Zaeem Qadri said Sunday that the chief minister of Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif, has announced three days mourning and pledged to ensure that those involved in the attack are brought to trial.
Senior police officer Haider Ashraf says the explosion took place close to the children's rides in Gulshan-e-Iqbal park. He says the explosion appeared to have been a suicide bombing, but investigations were ongoing. The area was crowded with Christians celebrating the Easter holidays, he said.
Ashraf said the park was manned by police guards and private security guards. "We are in a warlike situation and there is always a general threat but no specific threat alert was received for this place," he added.
Footage broadcast on local television stations showed chaotic scenes in the park, with people running while carrying children and cradling the wounded in their laps.
A witness, not identified by name on Pakistan's Geo TV station, said he was heading toward a ride with his wife and two children when he heard a huge bang and all four of them were thrown to the floor.
In a statement, National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said:
"This cowardly act in what has long been a scenic and placid park has killed dozens of innocent civilians and left scores injured. We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed, just as our thoughts and prayers are with the many injured in the explosion."