Death toll in Lahore park blast climbs to 72

RSTV Bureau
Lahore : Pakistani police officers and rescue workers gather at the site of bomb explosion in a park in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, March, 27, 2016. A bomb blast in a park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore has killed tens of people and wounded scores, a health official said. Photo AP/PTI

Lahore : Pakistani police officers and rescue workers gather at the site of bomb explosion in a park in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, March, 27, 2016. A bomb blast in a park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore has killed tens of people and wounded scores, a health official said. Photo AP/PTI

The death toll continues to mount in the deadly park blast that rocked Lahore. The toll has risen to 72. The blast by a Taliban suicide bomber took place on Sunday afternoon where Christians were celebrating Easter Sunday in a popular public park in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Iqbal Town area.

“The toll has risen to 72. The rescue operation is continuing,” a rescue official of the Punjab Province government told Express News.

The Army joined the rescue efforts and an emergency was declared in city hospitals. Appeals have been made to people to donate blood.

The park was located in a posh-locality in Lahore, the hometown of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Those killed mostly included women and children. More than 300 people were injured in the attack and many of them still continue to be in a critical condition.

The brutal attack by a suicide bomber  was claimed by the Jamaatul Ahrar, a splinter group of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Eyewitnesses said body parts were scattered all around the park. They said there was no security around the park.

The crowd was “unusually large” because of Easter.

Following the blast, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif chaired a high-level meeting in Rawalpindi.

Several leaders, including Prime Minister Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, have condemned the blast. Christians leaders also strongly condemned the attack.

Meanwhile, all schools under the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation remained closed on Monday.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced three-day mourning period.

On Sunday Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Sharif and offered his “deep condolences” to the victims of the Lahore terror attack.

(With inputs from PTI)