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Death toll in Pakistan blast rises to 69 - media

March 28, 2016, 6:31 UTC+3 BEIJING

Over 300 people were wounded

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BEIJING, March 28. /TASS/. The death toll in Sunday’s terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, has risen to 69, over 300 people were wounded, media reported.

"At least 69 people including a large number of women and kids were killed and over 300 others injured when a suicide bomber hit a public park in Pakistan's east Lahore city on Sunday evening, officials said," the Xinhua news agency reported.

"Deputy Coordination Officer Lahore, Captain Usman, said that the killed people included 23 kids whereas 56 injured children were shifted to various hospitals of the city," the agency said.

The statement quoted Haider Ashraf, the Deputy Inspector General Police, as saying that the suicide bomber blew himself up in the parking stand near the gate of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in the Lahore city, the capital of the country's east Punjab province.

Ashraf said the stand was "located near the kids' swing area and ticket booth and the bomber chose it to explode himself for targeting a large number of people in which he succeeded."

He said the park was more crowded than usual due to Sunday's holiday and a number of Christians were also visiting it to celebrate the Catholic Easter festival, when the blast occurred.

Jamaat ul Ahrar extremist group, making part of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, a Pakistani Taliban movement, claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing.

"Police found National Identity Card of the suicide bomber near the remains of his body which shows him a resident of Muzaffargarh city of the Punjab province who was born on January 1, 1988," Xinhua said.

"A heavy contingent of police reached at the bomber's home in Muzaffargarh and arrested 15 people including his two brothers and shifted them to some undisclosed location for investigations," the report said.

"The government of Punjab announced three-day mourning over the incident whereas the governments in the country's south Sindh and southwest Balochistan province announced one-day mourning," it said.

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