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ICC Note:

Christians celebrating the Easter holiday in a public park last night were attacked by a suicide bomber in Lahore, Pakistan killing at least 69 people and wounding over 300 more. An offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attacks and has stated that Christians were intentionally targeted by the terrorist group. Christians and their places of worship have become common targets for Pakistan’s extremist groups. In March 2015, suicide bombers also attached to the Pakistani Taliban attacked two churches in Lahore, killing over 20 and wounding another 70. In September 2013, All Saints Church in Peshawar was attacked by suicide bombers killing over 130. When will Pakistan take action and secure its Christian minority? 

3/28/2016 Pakistan (CNN) – On this Easter Sunday, Christians in Lahore mingled with their Muslim neighbors, celebrating in a neighborhood park — taking their children on rides or pushing them on swings. Then, the sound of tragedy.

A blast tore through the park, killing indiscriminately.

But the attack, claimed by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, intentionally targeted Christians, the group said.

The suicide blast killed at least 69 people, a local government spokesman told CNN.

More than 341 others were injured, Punjab government spokesman Jehangir Awan said.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban offshoot known as Jamat-ul-Ahrar, vowed such attacks would continue.

The explosion came at a poignant time for Pakistan’s Christians, some of whom were in the city’s Gulshan Iqbal Park to celebrate Easter on Sunday evening.

The religious group makes up only 2% of the population, and tensions are high between them and a hardline Muslim core that wants to see a strict interpretation of Islamic law take precedence in Pakistan’s legal system.

[Full Story]