Pakistani officials said a suicide bomber attacked a crowded public park in Lahore Sunday night, killing more than 50 people and wounding another 300.
A government official said most of the victims were women and children. He said some of those brought to the hospital were seriously wounded.
The Reuters news agency reported the bomb exploded in a parking area close to the children’s playground. Witnesses said Christian families celebrating the Easter holiday were in the park when the attack took place. But it is not clear if the bomber targeted the Christians, who are a minority in Pakistan.
Protest in Islamabad
Separately, in Islamabad, thousands of Pakistanis gathered to protest the execution last month of a man who had been charged with killing a provincial governor. Most of the protesters are activist members of Islamic parties.
In 2011, Mumtaz Qadri shot and killed Punjab’s governor Salman Taseer. The governor had called for the country’s Islamic law against blasphemyto be changed.
Police fired tear gasto try to end the gathering. But the protest continued. The protesters were reported to be trying to reach the parliament building. Witnesses said police had little tear gas left to use on the protesters.
Some of the demonstrators set fires near a public bus service center that links Islamabad with neighboring Rawalpindi.
An Army spokesman said the government had told the military to help control the protesters and protect the area of Islamabad where parliament, the supreme court and other important government buildings and embassies are located.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Words in This Story
blasphemy – n. great disrespect shown to God or to something holy
tear gas – n. a gas that makes people unable to see by causing their eyes to be filled with tears and that is used especially by the police or military to separate large groups of people