Pakistan attack: Christians targeted as they celebrate Easter

The explosion occurred near a park in Lahore, where the Christian community was gathered for the Easter holidays

Un first report shows 65 dead in this suicide attack which was claimed by a Taliban group. This attack took place this Sunday evening in Lahore, a Pakistani city of 8 million inhabitants in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park. This park was particularly crowded on this Easter day when Christians celebrated Easter.

The first provisional reports this evening show at least 65 dead and more than 340 injured according to the Pakistani authorities. It should get worse over the next few hours.

The explosion occurred a few dozen meters from a children's play area. “Most of the dead and injured are women and children,” said a police official.

“So far we have received more than 40 bodies and more than 200 wounded. Most are in critical condition. We treat them on the floor and in the hallways, and it keeps coming. I'm afraid the toll is getting worse, ”Dr Ashraf told Jinnah Hospital.

The target was Christians, ”said a spokesperson for the breakaway Taliban group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. A representative of the city of Lahore said that "relief operations are continuing". Army help was requested. "Soldiers have reached the site and are helping with relief and security," he said.

Christians in Pakistan represent a minority, 2% of the population which is 200 million predominantly Muslim. Christians are targeted by Islamist groups and some are prosecuted for insulting Islam, a crime punishable by death in Pakistan under a controversial blasphemy law.

Nathanael Bechdolff


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