UPDATE: 8:45 pm EDT — The death toll in the suicide blast in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore has risen to at least 67 people, a local government spokesman told CNN.
UPDATE: 4:22 p.m. EDT — Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan as a military dictator from 1999 to 2008, also condemned the atrocity. He posted on his Facebook page:
"I am outraged to learn about the multiple suicide attacks targeting the Christian community and innocent Pakistanis from all walks of life and faith in Lahore. Religious intolerance, sectarian violence and blatant terrorism is destroying the very core of our social fabric. In a plural Islamic Society, which is what we must aspire and strive to become, there is no place for intolerance, violence and appeasement of extremist groups who are trying to make our nation hostage to their obscurantist ideology. Make no mistake, the Pakistan Military is fighting a decisive battle to crush them. I know their days are numbered and Pakistan's better days are ahead of us. We have to show resolve in fighting and crushing these extremists and bringing back peace and stability to our beloved country. PM"
UPDATE: 3:40 p.m. EDT — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif after the Lahore blast that killed at least 65 people, and expressed his condolences, Dawn News reported.
Terming the attack as cowardly for targeting women and children, Modi underlined the need for "uncompromising efforts" to fight terror.
The Indian Foreign Ministry tweeted:
During the conversation, PM @narendramodi underlined the need for uncompromising efforts to fight against terrorism.
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) March 27, 2016
UPDATE 2:51 p.m. EDT — A Taliban faction called Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack that killed at least 65 people in Lahore on Sunday, saying the target of its attack was Muslim Pakistan's small Christian minority, Reuters reports. More than 300 people were wounded.
"The target were Christians," said a spokesman for the faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan. "We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore. He can do what he wants but he won't be able to stop us. Our suicide bombers will continue these attacks."
Islamist militants in Pakistan have attacked Christians and other religious minorities often over the past decade. Christians have accused the government of doing little to protect them.
A journalist with Pakistans Geo News posted what is believed to be the suicide bomber's ID card:
— Roohan Ahmed (@Roohan2Ahmed) March 27, 2016
Alleged suicide bomber Yousuf had been associated with a #Lahore Madarsah for last 8 years, studied & was also teaching there: Geo News
— Roohan Ahmed (@Roohan2Ahmed) March 27, 2016
UPDATE: 1:25 p.m. EDT — Reuters reports the death toll in Lahore is now at least 65.
Eyewitnesses said they saw body parts strewn across the parking lot once the dust had settled after the blast.
"When the blast occurred, the flames were so high they reached above the trees and I saw bodies flying in the air," Hasan Imran, 30, a resident who had come to Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park for a walk, told Reuters.
UPDATE: 1 p.m. EDT — In Washington, National Security Council spokesman Ned Price issued a statement:
"The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s appalling terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan. This cowardly act in what has long been a scenic and placid park has killed dozens of innocent civilians and left scores injured. We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed, just as our thoughts and prayers are with the many injured in the explosion. The United States stands with the people and government of Pakistan at this difficult hour. We will continue to work with our partners in Pakistan and across the region, as together we will be unyielding in our efforts to root out the scourge of terrorism."
— Aftab Ashiq (Tabi) (@aftabashiq147) March 27, 2016
UPDATE: 12:50 p.m. EDT — No group has claimed responsibility for the atrocity as yet, the BBC reports. Pakistan's Dawn news service has put the death toll at 58, which is expected to rise as many are critically injured.
Muhammad Usman, a retired officer, told Dawn the head of the suicide bomber has been recovered. Ball bearings have also been found at the site.
There is speculation that Christian families out for the Easter weekend may have been the target, the BBC reported from Lahore.
Many eyewitnesses said there was no security present in and around the park. An eye witness, talking to Dawn, said, "The park is huge and has many entrance gates. There was almost negligible security personnel present there."
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has spoken out:
— Malala Fund (@MalalaFund) March 27, 2016
At least 30 people were killed and 200 others wounded Sunday in a bomb blast in Lahore’s Gulshan Iqbal Park, Pakistan Today reports. A suicide bomber was responsible, officials told Reuters.
"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." Pakistan's Nation newspaper put the death toll at at least 50.
— Great Quotes (@lion_faisal) March 27, 2016
Rescuers say the blast occurred at the central gate of the park near the motorcycle parking stand and just a few feet away from children's swings.
The dead and the wounded have been taken to Jinnah Hospital, Shaikh Zayed Hospital and other nearby hospitals, Pakistan Today said. An emergency has been declared in all hospitals of the capital of Punjab province, home base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
— Aisha Baloch (@AyishaBaloch) March 27, 2016
So called fool proof arrangements by the govt for security of people have been exposed. #LahoreBlast
— Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri (@TahirulQadri) March 27, 2016
Doctors at the Jinnah Hospital said many of the wounded are in critical condition and fear the death toll may rise.
Witnesses said there were pools of blood and scattered body parts in the park, where a large number of families, especially women and children, were enjoying thei weekend.
Rescue 1122 spokesman confirmed that an emergency call was received at around 6:44 p.m. and that 23 ambulances are present at the site.
Punjab Health Adviser Khwaja Salman Rafique says arrangements are in place for the wounded. "All the doctors are on duty and arrangements are in place in all hospitals to treat the injured," he told Waqt News.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan have also condemned the blast.
— Senator Faisal Abidi (@SenFaisalAbidi) March 27, 2016
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.