LAHORE: At least 65 people were killed and more than 340 including women and children injured in an explosion at Gate No.1 of Ghulshan Iqbal park in Allama Iqbal Town, Neo News reported on Sunday.
According to the Rescue 1122 spokesperson, 39 bodies and 125 injured were shifted to Jinnah Hospital; five bodies and 48 injured to Sheikh Zayed Hospital; six bodies and 41 injured to Services Hospital; six bodies and 33 injured to Farooq Hospital; and nine bodies and 12 injured to Mayo Hospital, while the other injured were driven to Lahore General Hospital, Ganga Ram Hospital and Bajwa Hospital.
Sunday’s bombing occurred near Gate No 1 of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park – metres away from children’s swings. “Circumstantial evidence suggests it was a suicide blast,” DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf told the media. “Ball bearings were also found at the park.” Experts say nearly 20kg of explosives were used in the blast.
According to preliminary reports, the explosion took place at the parking stand of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park which is located in a densely populated area of the metropolis. The injured were moved to the Jinnah and Sheikh Zaid hospitals for treatment, while police said more casualties are feared as 10 of the injured were in critical condition. An emergency was declared in all the hospitals of the provincial capital. Latest reports suggest that it was suicidal blast.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the attack and directed the health authorities to provide best treatment to the injured.
The United States, a strategic ally of Pakistan, also denounced the attack. “The United States stands with the people and government of Pakistan at this difficult hour. We will continue to work with our partners in Pakistan and across the region … to root out the scourge of terrorism,” White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Indian PM Narendra Modi telephoned his Pakistani counterpart to express grief over the blast. “The coward terrorists attacked children and women,” he said. “We are with the Pakistani nation at the time of grief.”