At least 65 people were killed and more than 300 people were wounded in a suicide bomb explosion outside a park in the Iqbal Town neighbourhood of Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday evening. The Pakistani faction of the Taliban Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reported. “The target was Christians,” Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the faction, said. He added that this was a warning to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that they had entered Lahore and that suicide bombers will launch other such attacks.

The explosion took place a few metres away from the children's swings at the parking lot of Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park, which is a popular place of gathering among Lahore's Christian community, many of whom were there to celebrate the Easter weekend holiday. Witnesses said they could see body parts strewn around the site of the blast, with one saying the crowd was “unsually large” because of Easter, Pakistani daily Dawn reported.

Women and children accounted for most of the casualties, Superintendent of Police Mustansar Feroz said. It is feared that the toll may climb considerably, with many of the wounded undergoing emergency surgery in hospitals, a health adviser for the Punjab provincial government, Salman Rafique, said.

The government declared an emergency at all state-run hospitals in the city, and a heavy contingent of police cordoned off the area. The Punjab government announced three days of mourning. Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif led a high-level meeting late on Sunday and ordered intelligence officials to begin investigating the attacks immediately to catch the perpetrators.