70 killed in Lahore park suicide blast, Pak Taliban claims hand

LAHORE: A powerful blast ripped through a public park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday evening, killing at least 70 people and wounding over 250, including women and children, rescue workers and officials said. The blast, apparently caused by a suicide bomber, occurred in a parking lot at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, one of the largest parks in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, said Haider Ashraf, a senior police official in Lahore. “Some 65-70 people have been killed, included women and children, and over 250 were injured,” an Edhi spokesperson said. The attack was claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan faction Jamaatul Ahrar, Dawn reported. The 67-acre park is frequented both by residents and visitors to the city, and is popular with families. It has walking paths as well as rides for children. The explosion coincided with violence in other parts of the country as hundreds of protesters took to the streets to condemn the February 29 execution of Mumtaz Qadri, who had killed Salman Taseer, a governor who campaigned for changes in the country’s blasphemy laws, in January 2011. (IANS)

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