Sunday turned deadly in Lahore when a Pakistani suicide bomber attacked an Easter celebration. Reports place the number of dead at 63 with an additional 300 injured. The explosion detonated in the parking lot of a park where minority Christians gathered to honor the holiday. The afflicted crowd included many women and children, as this was a family-oriented event. A Taliban splinter group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, was swift to claim responsibility and assert that Christians were indeed the intended target. The Taliban faction’s spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, issued a statement on the attack:
“The target were Christians. We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore. He can do what he wants but he won’t be able to stop us. Our suicide bombers will continue these attacks.”
In Punjab, which makes Lahore its capital, a three-day period of mourning shall be held. Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the suicide bombing. This photo shows men carrying an injured relative to safety after what is only the latest example of sectarian strife in the country.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai said she was “devastated by the senseless killing of innocent people.”
After the explosion occurred, Facebook appeared to suffer a glitch that asked whether users in the United States and United Kingdom were alright. Many people posted messages like this to Twitter.