Lahore Suicide Bombing: 72 killed and 200 Hospitalized (and Counting)
2409 Jeung Eun Kim
On March 27, 2016, over 250 people were injured or killed in a terror suicide bombing in Pakistan. The attack took place in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, one of the most popular, largest parks in Lahore. The park was very crowded at the time because of the undergoing Easter celebrations. 72 people died during the bombing, and 200 people were extensively injured, mostly women and children. Very soon after the attack, the Jamaat –ul-Ahrar group claimed sole responsibility for the deaths and injuries.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar is a group related to the Pakistani Taliban is an organization for various Islamist militants in Pakistan. The extremist group had a reputation for actively targeting religious minorities, such as Christians (only 2% of the Pakistan population) in Pakistan. They claimed to have set up the suicide bombing attack to target mostly Christians celebrating the Easter holiday at Lahore. However, according to police reports, Muslims, not Christians, were mostly killed in the attack.
Witnesses state that there were body parts everywhere. According to a boy named Danish, the park was packed with people. It was an unexpected blast, and suddenly it was raining disaster.
After the incident, there the chairman of the Tehreek-e-Insad party Imran Khan went to the Jinnah Hospital to visit the survivors. The chairman later released a comment to the media expressing the need for the current government to implement a Plan. He stated the need for the government to provide security for the Pakistan people and “it must revisit its priorities.” He continued on, criticizing the terrorists by boldly saying the attack was strictly against the teachings of the Holy Prophet and basic principles.
Furthermore, Pakistan announced three days of mourning for the dead. Business leaders also unexpectedly came together to show the dead and wounded the respect they deserved by halting the markets in Lahore for a full day on March 28, 2016. The Pakistan army also showed their support by working doubly hard to capture those responsible. Ever since March 27, 2016, military operations have been in place in order to capture the terrorists. Al Jazeera has said that the precarious safety of Pakistan’s minorities have been stressed by the attack, and noticed the situation aptly. On March 28, the army was successful in arresting several suspected terrorists. Firearms with ammunition were also recovered in different parts of Lahore, Faisalabad, and Multan.
On a different note, Facebook activated the Safety Check mode after the explosion. Safety Check, a feature from Facebook, notifies people within the parameters of a global disaster. This notification was how the majority of the Western World discovered the happenings of Lahore. A glitch in the system had mistakenly pushed alerts to people far away from Pakistan, causing many to become alerted about the attack. The glitch added fuel to the fire of the growing discontent of the unbalanced media coverage of non-Western areas in the world.