Lahore Remains Shaken in Wake of Easter Terrorist Attack
Although victims belonged to various faiths, some are calling it a deliberate attack on the country's Christian minority.
At least 72 people have died, according to the New York Times, following a terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan. The suicide bombing took place on Easter Sunday, in what some have interpreted as a deliberate assault on the country's Christian minority. Pakistan had recently recognized Easter as well as Hinduism's Holi and Diwali as official public holidays. Victims from Sunday's attack, though, were not solely Christian and tended to be working class.
The attack took place in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, a popular destination for locals and families visiting on weekend trips. Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a splinter group from Pakistan's Taliban that once declared its allegiance to ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Since the attack, a steady stream of funerals have crowded local cemeteries.
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The suicide bombing over the weekend is just the latest in what has become an all-too-familiar event for Pakistanis. Violent acts carried out by extremist groups have become more and more common in recent years. As reported by the New York Times, over 500 people have been killed since December 2014, when nine Taliban gunmen stormed a school in Peshawar and killed 154 people.
This brings the total number of recent terrorist attacks to four over an eight-day period, as posted by Mashable. On March 25, a young suicide bomber killed 32 people in Iskandariya, Iraq, during a post-soccer match celebratory parade. Just a few days prior, on March 22, two attacks at an airport and metro station killed 35 people in Brussels. Lastly, on March 19, at least five people were killed by suicide bombing in Istanbul's busy shopping district.
Photo: Family members touch a coffin of a relative, who was killed in a blast outside a public park on Sunday, during a funeral in Lahore, Pakistan, March 28, 2016.