The latest info:
The death toll from a suicide bombing at a public park in Lahore rose to 72 on Monday, with over 300 people injured, several of them said to be in critical condition.
According to latest details from hospitals and officials, those killed in the bombing at Lahore’s Gulshan-i-Iqbal park included 29 children and seven women.
Officials said 50 bodies have been handed over to families after identification.
The victims also included seven members of an unfortunate family from Sanghar who all lost their lives as the suicide attacker blew himself up in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, just outside the exit gate and a few metres away from children’s swings.
A Pakistan Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide attack.
“We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter,” spokesperson for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jamaat ul Ahrar, Ehansullah Ehsan told The Express Tribune over telephone.
“It was part of the annual martyrdom attacks we have started this year,” Ehsan said, adding the operation codenamed “Saut-ul-Raad” will continue this year.
“We had been waiting for this occasion,” the TTP JA spokesperson said. “We want to convey to the ruling PML-N and the prime minister that we we have arrived in Punjab and we will reach you”.
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.
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. Lahore is the capital of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest and wealthiest province and the political powerbase of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.