Theme Park Bombing in Pakistan Kills at Least 29 Children
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On Easter Sunday, a suicide bomber detonated a charge at the entrance of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Amusement Park in Lahore, Pakistan. Around 70 people were killed, with at least 29 being children.
According to Mubasher Bukhari of Reuters, terrorist group Jamaat-ur-Ahrar has taken credit for the attack, which was geared toward killing Christians. In addition to the slain children, reports suggest seven women and 34 men were killed as well in the blast near children’s rides at the facility, and an estimated 340 park visitors were wounded.
Gulshan-e-Iqbal park was packed with families celebrating Easter, as the predominantly Muslim Pakistan also has a Christian population of more than two million people. Lahore is the capital of Punjab, and is considered by many to be the country’s political and cultural heartland.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was touring hospitals full of victims of the suicide attack when he released the following statement, via Reuters, “Our resolve as a nation and as a government is getting stronger and (the) coward enemy is trying for soft targets.”
In response to the attacks, the Pakistani army and police forces have launched several raids around Punjab, and military spokesman General Asim Bajwa revealed, “Number of suspect terrorists and facilitators arrested and huge cache of arms and ammunition recovered.”
Following the bombing at Gulshan-e-Iqbal, markets, schools and courts in Lahore were closed Monday.
The country has been stunned by the attacks, and reports suggest Sunday’s bombing was the worst terrorist incident in Pakistan since the December 2014 massacre of 134 school children at a military-run academy in Peshawar.
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