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Tuesday 24 October 2017

'Every life is precious', says Malala after bombing kills 70

Pakistani police cordon off the bomb site at the amusement park in Lahore, Pakistan. Photo: AP
Pakistani police cordon off the bomb site at the amusement park in Lahore, Pakistan. Photo: AP

Malala Yousafzai has condemned the "senseless killing" in her native Pakistan after a terrorist bombing left at least 70 dead on Easter Sunday.

The country entered a three-day mourning period yesterday following the attack in a park in Lahore, believed to have been carried out by a suicide bomber.

"I am devastated by the senseless killing of innocent people in Lahore," said the 18-year-old former Nobel Prize winner, who lives in Birmingham.

"My heart goes out to the victims and their families and friends. I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms."

She called for Pakistan and the world to stand together. "Every life is precious and must be respected and protected," she said.

More than 300 were injured in the attack, many seriously, after a device was detonated near children's rides while families celebrated Easter in the eastern Pakistani city.

A breakaway Pakistani faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the carnage and said it had deliberately targeted the Christian community.

However most of those killed were Muslims - with 14 having been identified as Christians, according to Lahore Police Superintendent Mohammed Iqbal.

British prime minister David Cameron, who used his Easter message to urge Britons of all faiths to stand up for Christian values, said he was shocked by the attack and promised British help.

Victims

"My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims. We will do what we can to help," Mr Cameron posted on Twitter.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond advised British nationals to avoid the area and monitor travel advice updates and local media.

"We will continue to provide support and assistance to the government of Pakistan as they work to defeat those who plan and perpetrate these acts of terror."

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