70 dead in Lahore suicide attack

March 27, 2016
Published in Pakistan

LAHORE: At least  70 people were killed and around 330 were wounded when a suicide bomber ripped through a crowded park in Lahore on Sunday, officials said.

Many children and women were among the victims.

The explosion took place inside Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, where hundreds of children, women and men were said to be present.

The park was packed with people due to weekly holiday and Easter celebrations.

Related story: COAS holds security meeting after Lahore attack

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told SAMAA that mostly children and women died due to the cowardly act of terrorism.

"It is a barbaric act of terrorism, in which children and women have been targeted by the terrorist groups," Sanaullah said.

"It is obvious that terrorists groups are trying to hit soft targets as they are frustrated and defeated. They are the same people, who had martyred people at Bacha Khan University and Army Public School," he said.

To a question, he said that there was no specific threat. "General threat is everywhere in the country," he added.

Read more: Modi phones PM, voices grief over Lahore incident

Salman Rafique, Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Health Affairs, confirmed the death of more than 60 people.

Dr Haider Ashraf, DIG Operations, said that it was a suicide attack. "The bomber wanted to target innocent people," he said.

According to Rescue sources, nearly 300 injured people were shifted to nearby hospitals, where emergency was declared.


Death toll may rise

The death toll is feared to go up as some of those wounded are in critical condition.

Around 35 people, three of them children, were shifted to Jinnah Hospital while 45 were rushed to Sheikh Zayed Hospital and others were taken to private hospitals.

Emergency was declared in all hospitals of the city and security was put on high alert.

An eyewitness told SAMAA that a stampede broke out after the explosion and many children were separated from their parents.

According to security sources, upper body of the suspected bomber was still intact and that he could be easily identified.

Army  Blast Spot 2000 Lhr 01 27-03

Troops and personnel of Counter-Terrorism Department also reached the scene to carry out the rescue work and cordon off the area.

Also explore: Twitter reacts to terror incident

PM condemns blast

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Sunday strongly condemned the blast incident in Lahore.

The Prime minister expressed his grief and sorrow over the loss of innocent lives.

He also directed the authorities concerned to ensure special medical care to the injured, said PM Office Media Wing.

In a press statement, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the terrorist attack and expressed sympathy with the families of the victims. - SAMAA
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Story first published: 27th March 2016


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