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First funerals held for those killed in Lahore bombing

Grieving family and friends gathered for the funerals of at least four of those killed in the Easter Sunday bombing in Lahore, Pakistan.

The funerals for those killed in the suicide bombing have started to take place Credit: Reuters

Christian celebrations held in a public park were targeted by the blasts, which killed at least 70 people - 29 of whom were children.

Hundreds more were injured.

The Pakistani Taliban's Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction, which once declared loyalty to the so-called Islamic State group, has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, which has been roundly condemned by world leaders including the Pope.

Grieving relatives mourn those killed Credit: Reuters

The Pakistani government has now launched a paramilitary crackdown on Islamist militants in the Punjab province, with several raids carried out since the attack resulting in an unspecified number of arrests and the recovery of caches of arms.

It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since the December 2014 massacre of 134 schoolchildren at a military-run academy in Peshawar.

Paramilitary crackdown to commence in Pakistan

Forensic experts inspect the scene of the bombing Credit: Reuters

Pakistan will launch a special paramilitary crackdown in the wake of last night's suicide bombings in Lahore.

Military sources said the government had granted them special powers to fight Islamist militants in Punjab, the country's most-populous province.


Pope demands minorities protection in Pakistan

Many Christians were among the victims Credit: Reuters

Pope Francis condemned the Easter Sunday suicide bomb in Lahore, Pakistan - which killed 70 people, including many Christians - as "hideous".

Addressing crowds in St Peter's Square, he demanded Pakistan's government afford more protection to religious minorities.

The Pope described last night's attack as a "vile and senseless crime".

I appeal to civil authorities and all sectors of that nation to make every effort to restore security and serenity to the population, and in particular to the most vulnerable religious minorities.

– Pope Francis

Death toll from play park bombing in Lahore rises to 70

The death toll from the suicide bomb attack in Lahore has risen to at least 70.

Rescue services spokeswoman Deeba Shahnaz said at least 70 people were killed and about 340 were wounded, with 25 in serious condition.

It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since theDecember2014 massacre of 134 school children at a military run academy in the city of Peshawar.

Lahore is the capital of Pakistan's richest province, Punjab, and is seen as the country's political and cultural heartland.

Pakistani Christians targeted by Taliban bomb in Lahore

Video report by ITV News' Helen Callaghan.

A small Christian community was the target of a suicide bombing at a public park in Lahore, Pakistan.

A faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which happened near to where children were playing on swings and rides.

Many of the victims were women and children and witnesses described distressing scenes of chaos.

Political leaders express horror at attack in Lahore

Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed his "shock" at the suicide bomb attack in Lahore which has killed 65 people.

He also pledged that the UK "will do what we can to help".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also said his "thoughts" were with the victims and their families.


Taliban claims Lahore bomb and says Christians were target

The Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that killed at least 65 people in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Easter Day.

Mainly women and children died in the attack which took place at a park. Credit: APTN

In a statement the group said the target of its attack was Pakistan's Christian minority.

The target were Christians.

We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore. He can do what he wants but he won't be able to stop us. Our suicide bombers will continue these attacks.

– Jamaat-ul-Ahrar spokesperson

Islamist militants in Pakistan have attacked Christians and other religious minorities often over the past decade.

Christians have accused the government of doing little to protect them.

Malala Yousafzai condemns 'senseless' attack in Lahore

At least 65 people, mainly women and children, were killed in the attack. Credit: APTN

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has condemned an attack at a park in Lahore, Pakistan which has killed at least 65 people.

In a statement posted on Twitter she described the bombing as "senseless" and urged Pakistan and the world to unite against terrror.

I am devastated by the senseless killing of innocent people today in Lahore. My heart goes out to the victims and their families and friends.

I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. We stand together with the families of the victims.

Pakistan and the world must unite. Every life is precious and must be protected and respected.

– Malala Yousafzai
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