Update: Pakistan To Launch Paramilitary Crackdown After Easter Bombing That Killed 70

Photo: Mohammad Sajjad/AP Images.
Update: The Pakistani government said it will launch a paramilitary crackdown on suspected Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militants in Punjab province after a bombing on Easter Sunday left 70 people dead and hundreds more injured, according to Reuters.

Update, March 27, 2016 at 3:20 p.m.:
The Associated Press reports that a faction of the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the Lahore bombing. Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for the militant Islamic group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, told the AP that the suicide bomber deliberately targeted the Christian community and that more attacks will follow. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar rejoined the Pakistani Taliban in 2015, after a previous split, reports Reuters.

This story was originally published on March 27, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. EST.

A suicide bombing at a public park in Lahore, Pakistan, has killed at least 65 people and injured 280, Reuters reports. The location — a few feet away from a swing set in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park — and the Easter Sunday timing of the explosion has made the scene particularly horrific. "Most of the dead and injured are women and children," Mustansar Feroz, police superintendent for the area, told Reuters. Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the attacks and declared three days of mourning in the country. According to Al Jazeera, the death toll might rise. "The blast was massive and has caused a lot of damage and fatalities," Jam Sajjad Hussain, an emergency service spokesman, told the news network. Coming days after the attacks in Brussels, this bombing is a stark reminder that several countries have seen this kind of violence almost regularly in recent years. Pakistan has been fighting to destroy Taliban safe havens in North Waziristan since 2014, but terrorist attacks have continued. Earlier this month, 15 were killed when a bus carrying government officials was bombed in northern Pakistan and 20 died when terrorists opened fire at Bacha Khan University in the northwest region of the country.

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