Punjab’s counter terrorism department has claimed to have arrested two prime suspects of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park blast that unfolded on Easter Sunday 2016. The counter terrorism department on January 6, claimed to have shot dead six militants allegedly involved in the Easter bombing. The explosion unfolded on Mach 27, 2016 when Christians were busy during Easter revelry.
This was 2016’s deadliest attack in the country which was aimed to target the Christian community. While briefing the media, a CTD spokesman stated: “Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan/Jamaat-ul-Ahrar” carried out the attack that killed 75 people on Easter Sunday on March 27, 2016. TTP (Jamaat-ul-Ahrar) chief Umar Khalid Khorasani had ordered the attack. Muhammad Khan (a local man) had coordinated the masterminded the hit.”
Further providing the details, CTD officials named the two suspects arrested as Shahid Ullah and Khan Zaib. CTD explained that both of them carried out recce of the park and facilitated the bomber by providing him transportation. The suspects also helped the veiled bomber sneak into the park. The bomber was wearing a veil (burqa). CTD said that the terrorists had entered the park through a broken boundary wall of the park.
On Easter, March 27, Sunday a suicide bomber blew himself up at Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal park where hundreds of people were present. Due to Easter, majority of the attendees was that of Christians. The tragic incident left more than 74 dead while above 300 were injured.
Followed by the bombing, a faction of Taliban claimed responsibility of the blast. The terror group stated that Christians were the target. The group posted an Urdu communiqué on its Facebook page early last year claiming that Christians were the prime target. The post also carried a photo of the bomber, identifying him as Salahuddin Khorasani. However, representatives of different faiths expressed solidarity with the Christians and strongly condemned the attack.
This heinous attack was the deadliest in Pakistan’s history since the Army Public School, Peshawar attack, in 2014. The APS massacre left 134 students dead while several injured. However, in recent attack, about 29 children died among the 74 dead.