The State Department released a statement on Sunday condemning the Easter terrorist bombing in Lahore, Pakistan that left at least 60 people dead and upwards of 300 people wounded. However, the agency failed to mention that the attackers specifically targeted Pakistani Christians who were celebrating Easter.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s appalling terrorist attacks in Lehore, Pakistan,” the statement read. “This cowardly act, which targeted innocent civilians in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, has killed dozens and left scored injured. The United States stands with the people and government of Pakistan at this difficult hour. We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Lahore as they respond to and recover from this terrible tragedy.”
— CNN (@CNN) March 28, 2016
“Attacks like these only deepen our shared resolve to defeat terrorism around the world, and we will continue to work with our partners in Pakistan and across the region to combat the threat of terrorism,” the statement continued.
The Pakistani Taliban splinter cell has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, telling The Associated Press that it was aimed toward Christians. Investigators have not whether the blast, which originated near the park’s children rides, was a suicide bombing or a rigged explosive. Local police chief Haider Ashraf said that the park was filled with Christians celebrating the holiday, and that several families were leaving the park at the time of the explosion.
Pakistan is home to 182 million people, only 2 percent of which identify themselves as Christian. The Easter bombings are only the latest in a series of terrorist attacks aimed at Christians. In 2013, 75 Christians were killed in a suicide bombing in Peshawar, and an uncounted number have been killed in the militant violence that has gripped parts of the nation.