At least 56 people including women and children, enjoying Easter holiday at a popular public park, were killed on Sunday in Lahore in Pakistan
Over 100 others are reported to be injured in what was a powerful suicide blast in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, capital of Punjab province.
According to a PTI report, a large number of people including Christians were present in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park when the blast occurred in the evening, leaving many in a pool of blood.
“It was a powerful blast. It is suspected that suicide bomber blew himself up at the gate of the main gate of the park,” Deputy Inspector General Lahore Police Haider Asharaf said.
“Initial reports suggest that it was a suicide blast,” he added.
The park is located in a posh locality in the city, which is comparatively peaceful in violence-hit Pakistan.
Eyewitnesses said there were scattered body parts in the park, where a large number of families, especially women and children, were present on a Sunday evening. The crowd was “unusually large” because of Easter.
Punjab Emergency Services Rescue 1122 spokesperson Deeba Shahnaz told PTI that 30 people had been killed in the blast.
Earlier, the Dawn reported saying at least 53 people were killed from the blast.
“Still a good number of people are in critical condition,” she added.
Over 100 injured have been shifted to different hospitals of Lahore, she said.
Doctors said the death toll may rise.
Emergency has been declared in all city hospitals in Lahore. Appeals have also been made to people to donate blood for the injured.
Children and women are among the dead.
“My two children were on the swing when a powerful blast occurred. The children and I fell on the ground. I was semi-unconscious. When I fully regained consciousness, I ran to find my children. Thank God, they were alive and have injuries on their head,” one of the victims, Saleem Shahid, said at Mayo Hospital.
A heavy contingent of police has cordoned off the area.