It didn’t end with the fall of Rome. It didn’t end with the decay of the coliseums.
PAKISTAN EASTER SUNDAY SUICIDE BOMBER TARGETS CHRISTIAN WOMEN AND CHIDREN
A suicide bomber killed at least 65 people mostly women and children, at a public park in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Resurrection Sunday. “More than 300 others were injured” police chief Haider Ashraf said. “The park was manned by police and private security guards. We are in a warlike situation and there is always a general threat but no specific threat alert was received for this place,” he added.
The blast occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, a few metres away from children’s swings in a busy residential area. Eyewitnesses said they saw body parts strewn across the parking lot once the dust had settled after the blast. “When the blast occurred, the flames were so high they reached above the trees and I saw bodies flying in the air,” said Hasan Imran, 30, a resident who had come to Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park for a walk. Media footage showed children and women standing in pools of blood outside the park, crying and screaming and rescue officials, police and bystanders carrying injured people. Dozens of women and children were seen being wheeled into hospitals, covered in blood. Many of the injured were transported to hospitals on taxis and auto-rickshaws due to a shortage of ambulances. Hundreds of citizens arrived outside hospitals to donate blood. Local television channels reported that many of the dead bodies were being kept in hospital wards as morgues were overcrowded.
The Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on Easter Sunday, saying it intentionally targeted Christians. “The target was Christians,” a spokesman for the faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said. “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.” Islamist militants in Pakistan have attacked Christians often over the past decade.
“Many are in operation theatres now being treated and we fear that the death toll may climb considerably,” Salman Rafique, a health adviser for the Punjab provincial government, said.
“We were just here to have a nice evening and enjoy the weather,” Nasreen Bibi said at the Services Hospital, crying as she waited for doctors to update her on the condition of her two-year-old injured daughter. “What kind of people target little children in a park?” When the army was called in to control crowds outside the park some distraught, sobbing relatives clashed with police.