A suicide bombing by the Taliban killed at least 70 people and injured about 300, most of them women and children, at a public park in Lahore, Pakistan which was frequented by families. The suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance of a children’s play area, where many families had gathered because of the Easter holiday. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they had specifically targeted “Christians who were celebrating Easter” and wanted to send a message to the prime minister that they had arrived in Punjab, the home province of the ruling party. At least 29 children enjoying an Easter weekend outing were among those killed, Reuters reports.
Mohammad Ali, a student who witnessed the aftermath of the blast, told The Guardian: “I saw body parts everywhere, especially those of young children. It was quite haunting, as many of the children’s rides were still operating, while there were dead bodies lying all around them.” According to initial reports by the police, the suicide bomber was a male between 23 and 25 years old, wearing a vest with at least 44lbs of explosives.