Prime Minister cancels U.S. trip, vows to avenge bloodshed
Death toll rises to at least 74, police say
Bombing happened as families celebrated Easter
Security forces, hunting for suspects in the deadly Easter Sunday bombing targeting Christians in a Lahore park, raided locations in three cities overnight and arrested suspected terrorists, a military spokesman said Monday on Twitter.
No details were given on who had been arrested or what role – if any – they may have played in the bombing, which killed at least 74 people and injured 362 others, Punjab province Chief Secretary Khizer Hyat said Monday.
At least twenty-four children were among the dead, according to Punjab province police.
A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had targeted Christians. The group vowed more such attacks.
The overnight raids by military and intelligence agencies targeted locations in three cities across the Pakistani province of Punjab, including Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan, military spokesman Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa tweeted.
In addition to the unspecified number of arrests of suspected “terrorists and facilitators,” forces also recovered a “huge cache of arms and ammunition,” Bajwa said.
Operations were continuing,”with more leads coming in,” he tweeted.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif canceled a planned visit to the United States after the violence, telling his nation Monday in a televised address that his government would not allow terrorists to “play with Pakistani lives.”