World con­demns La­hore bomb­ing

UAE calls for ef­forts to erad­i­cate ter­ror­ism af­ter chil­dren among dozens killed in park at­tack

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The ter­ror at­tack on the Pak­istani city of La­hore that left at least 70 peo­ple dead should be a sig­nal for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to wipe out ter­ror­ism, the UAE has said.

The Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion yes­ter­day is­sued a state­ment con­demn­ing Sun­day’s bomb at­tack on a park in La­hore where hun­dreds of Pak­ista­nis, mainly Chris­tians, had gath­ered to cel­e­brate Easter.

Claimed by the Tal­iban off­shoot Ja­maat-ul-Ahrar, the bomb­ing killed at least 70 peo­ple, in­clud­ing Mus­lims and Chris­tians, and in­jured more than 300.

The UAE for­eign min­istry said it would sup­port any mea­sure Pak­istan might deem nec­es­sary to pro­tect its se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity. The state­ment ex­pressed the “UAE’s sol­i­dar­ity with Pak­istan out of its firm po­si­tion of re­ject­ing all forms of ter­ror­ism re­gard­less of mo­ti­va­tion and jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, wher­ever, when­ever and by whomever.”

It added there is a need for “con­certed ef­forts by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to work at erad­i­cat­ing all forms of ter­ror­ism” and ex­pressed con­do­lences to the Pak­istani gov­ern­ment and peo­ple.

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan said the tar­get­ing of a park filled with chil­dren “re­vealed the face of ter­ror, which knows no lim­its and val­ues.”

France mean­while, ex­pressed its “sol­i­dar­ity in these dif­fi­cult mo­ments” to the au­thor­i­ties and the peo­ple of Pak­istan and un­der­lined “the in­flex­i­ble will of our coun­try to con­tinue to bat­tle ter­ror­ism ev­ery­where.”

Pope Fran­cis, ad­dress­ing the Catholic faith­ful cel­e­brat­ing Easter in St Peter’s Square, also hit out at the at­tack, as Pak­istan be­gan a three­day mourn­ing pe­riod to re­mem­ber the vic­tims.

The pope said it was a “vile and abom­inable” act, call­ing on au­thor­i­ties in Pak­istan to “make ev­ery ef­fort to re­store se­cu­rity and seren­ity” to Pak­ista­nis, par­tic­u­larly re­li­gious mi­nori­ties in the largely Mus­lim na­tion.

Pak­istan Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif (pic­tured right), mean­while, can­celled a planned trip to Great Bri­tain yes­ter­day and held a high­level se­cu­rity meet­ing.

He called the per­pe­tra­tors of the at­tack “cowards” and vowed to de­feat the “ex­trem­ist mind­set”.

The La­hore bomb­ing, claimed by a break­away Tal­iban fac­tion that has pub­licly sup­ported the ISIS group, un­der­scored both the pre­car­i­ous po­si­tion of Pak­istan's mi­nori­ties and the fact that the mil­i­tants are still ca­pa­ble of stag­ing wide-scale as­saults.

Ah­san­ul­lah Ah­san, a spokesman for the fac­tion, Ja­maat-ul-Ahrar, said that the sui­cide bomber de­lib­er­ately tar­geted the Chris­tian com­mu­nity cel­e­brat­ing Easter.

How­ever, most of those killed were Mus­lims. Of the dead, 14 have been iden­ti­fied as Chris­tians, ac­cord­ing to Police Su­per­in­ten­dent Mo­hammed Iqbal. An­other 12 bod­ies have not yet been iden­ti­fied, he said.

Mean­while, in the cap­i­tal of Islamabad, ex­trem­ists protested for a sec­ond day out­side Par­lia­ment and other key build­ings. The demon­stra­tors set cars on fire, de­mand­ing that au­thor­i­ties im­pose Sharia law.

BE­REAVED: A boy who sur­vived the at­tack at the fu­neral of his cousin, who was killed. In­set: an in­jured man talks on his phone from hospital

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