Death toll rises to over 60 in Taliban suicide bombing in Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan -- A breakaway faction of the militant Taliban group in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for an Easter Sunday bomb attack on a park in the eastern city of Lahore that killed 60 people, and wounded 300.

Ahsanullah Ahsan, spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, told the Associated Press Sunday that a suicide bomber with the faction deliberately targeted the Christian community. He warned that more attacks would follow.

Senior police officer Haider Ashraf says the explosion took place close to the children's rides in Gulshan-e-Iqbal park, which was crowded with Christian families celebrating Easter.

Zaeem Qadri said Sunday that the chief minister of Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif, has announced three days mourning and pledged to ensure that those involved in the attack are brought to trial.

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"Most of the dead and injured are women and children," said Mustansar Feroz, police superintendent for the area in which the park is located.

Salman Rafiq, an adviser to the chief minister of Punjab province, said Sunday that many of the wounded are in a critical condition.

Lahore, in Punjab province, is Pakistan's second-largest city and historically the country's cultural capital.

Ashraf said the park was manned by police guards 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.

Footage broadcast on local television stations showed chaotic scenes in the park, with people running while carrying children and cradling the wounded in their laps.

A witness, not identified by name on Pakistan's Geo TV station, said he was heading toward a ride with his wife and two children when he heard a huge bang and all four of them were thrown to the floor.

Many Pakistanis have turned to social media to request people donate blood.

Stay with ABC7 News for updates to this developing story.

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