Lahore: At least 69 people were killed and over 250 others were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a park in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore.
The blast occurred in the parking lot of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, where a large number were celebrating Easter on Sunday.
"Some 65-70 people have been killed, included women and children, and over 250 were injured," an Edhi spokesperson told the media.
The splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack and said it deliberately targeted Christians on Easter Sunday.
The 67-acre park is frequented both by residents and visitors to the city, and is popular with families. It has walking paths as well as rides for children.
A state of emergency was imposed on hospitals in Lahore after the blast. Television footage showed rescue workers and ambulances rushing to the park and ferrying victims to hospitals. Distraught relatives milled about in hospital corridors as the wounded were treated.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced a three-day mourning in the province.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf leader Imran Khan strongly condemned the blast. "Strongly condemn the terror attack in Lahore in which our innocent citizens including women & children lost their lives."
Meanwhile, the US condemned as "cowardly" the suicide attack, vowing to work with Pakistan to defeat those sowing terror in the country.
"The United States condemns in the strongest terms today's appalling terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan," National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a White House statement.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also expressed shock over the deadly attack. "I'm shocked by the terrorist attack in Lahore. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims. We will do what we can to help," he tweeted.
(With agency inputs)