A park in Pakistan was the site of an Easter suicide bombing on Sunday, where at least 64 people were killed, and a Taliban splinter group has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
The suicide bombing took place at a children’s park where Easter celebrations were occurring, and the victims were mostly women and children. Dawn reports the suicide attack took place in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park of Iqbal Town, Lahore, Pakistan.
The blast, which took so many lives and injured over 200 people, took place right near the children’s swings and the exit gate of the park, and the park was unusually packed because of the Easter holiday.
The Taliban splinter group which claimed responsibility are no strangers to destruction in Pakistan. Last year, they claimed responsibility for bombing a Roman Catholic church in Lahore, injuring 70 and killing 15 people, according to the BBC.
The terror group from Pakistan claims it is motivated by ISIS, and is more violent than the Taliban group it splintered from. However, experts believe the group has aligned itself again with the Taliban as of last year.
The attack in Lahore, Pakistan, where families were celebrating Easter from different cities in the 67-acre park, was an easy target for the terrorists.
Haider Ashraf, a senior police official in Lahore, said, “It was a soft target. Innocent women and children and visitors from other cities have been targeted. Apparently, it seems like a suicide attack.”
The park has almost no security presence, according to witnesses. Although the large Lahore park has many entrances, there is very little to keep unwanted visitors out.
The explosion was so great that witnesses said the “flames reached above the trees” and people could be seen “flying in the air.”
The scene in the heart of Lahore, Pakistan, was horrific, according to witnesses. Pools of blood, body parts, and the chaos of the injured were everywhere. People were holding onto their injured family members, seemingly stunned at what just happened to them.
A witness said the injured were taken to hospitals in rickshaws and taxis, and at least 20 ambulances were called to the scene. All hospitals in the area in Pakistan were on emergency alert.
Many of the wounded were in critical condition, and all of them are thought to be women and children who were taking part in the Easter celebrations in the large park in Lahore.
The head of the suicide bomber was found, and ball bearings believed to be a part of the bomb which rocked Pakistan were also found, according to Dawn.
Shopping areas and other public parks were shut down after the attack, according to Fox News.
The United States issued a statement about the attack in Pakistan, saying it would stand with Pakistan to “scourge” out terrorism.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s appalling terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan. 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.”
The Punjab government issued a three-day mourning period while the people in Pakistan absorb what has happened to them once again.
[Photo by AP Photo/K.M. Chuadary]