Suicide attack kills at least 63, injures over 300 in Lahore; Army deployed to protect Lahore

lhratkLAHORE: At least 63 people were killed and over 300 others injured in a deadly suicide explosion near the city’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park on Sunday, rescue and security officials said.

The suspected suicide attacker blew himself up in the parking space of the recreational park. A large number of people including women and children were present at the park due to weekly holiday.

Pakistan Army troops have been deployed as the park and surrounding area has been cordoned off by the security forces.

“At least 38 people were killed and more than 100 are injured,” Mustansar Feroz, superintedent of police for the area had told Reuters earlier.

“Most of the dead and injured are women and children.”

The blast occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, just outside the exit gate and a few feet (metres) away from children´s swings.

Eyewitnesses said they saw body parts strewn across the parking lot once the dust had settled. The park was particularly busy on Sunday evening due to the Easter holiday weekend.

Police said it was not yet clear whether the blast had been carried out by a suicide bomber or a remote-controlled devise.

“We cannot rule out that this was a suicide attack but things will be clear soon,” Haider Ashraf DIG Operations Lahore said.

Most of the injured are women and children, Hussain said.

Bodies and injured were rushed to Shaikh Zayed Hospital and Jinnah Hospital among others, where an emergency has been imposed.

The security forces and rescue teams along with bomb disposal squad were dispatched to the site immediately after the explosion.

In 2014, Pakistan launched an offensive against Taliban and affiliated jihadist fighters in North Waziristan, seeking to deprive them of safe havens from which to launch attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Punjab has traditionally been more peaceful than other parts of Pakistan.

US condemns ‘cowardly’ attack

The government of United States has strongly condemned the deadly suicide attack in Lahore.

“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,” said an official statement issued in Washington.

“The United States stands with the people and government of Pakistan at this difficult hour. We will continue to work with our partners in Pakistan and across the region, as together we will be unyielding in our efforts to root out the scourge of terrorism.” Geo News

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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