Lahore: A suicide bomber killed at least 38 people outside a public park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday, rescue officials and police said, striking at the heart of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s political heartland of Punjab.

The blast occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, just outside the exit gate and a few feet (metres) away from children’s swings.

“At least 38 people were killed and more than 100 are injured,” Mustansar Feroz, superintendent of police for the area told Reuters.

“Most of the dead and injured are women and children.”

The park was particularly busy on Sunday evening due to the Easter holiday weekend.

Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 190 million people, is plagued by a Taliban insurgency, criminal gangs and sectarian violence. Punjab is its biggest and wealthiest province.

In 2014, Pakistan launched an offensive against Taliban and affiliated jihadist fighters in North Waziristan, seeking to deprive them of safe havens from which to launch attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Punjab has traditionally been more peaceful than other parts of Pakistan. Sharif’s opponents have accused him of tolerating militancy in return for peace in his province, a charge he strongly denies.

Last year, a bomb killed a popular Pakistani provincial minister and at least eight others when it destroyed the minister’s home in Punjab.Suicide bomber kills at least 38 in Pakistani park.pakistan lahor bom blast.At least 40 people have been killed and 200 others wounded in a bomb blast in Lahore’s Gulshan Iqbal Park. Rescuers say the blast occurred at the central gate of the park near the motorcycle parking stand.Blast goes off outside public park in Pakistan’s Lahore, 25 dead, 100 injured

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