President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has condemned Sunday’s deadly bomb attack in an amusement party in Pakistan’s Lahore which killed at least 65 and injured 300, stating that Turkey stands by Pakistan during its hard days.
In a written statement released on the presidency’s officials website, Erdoğan said that Turkey always stands by Pakistan, and will continue its support to the country in its hard days. “May Allah rest the souls of the victims in peace,” he said. “I wish a quick recovery for the civilians wounded in the attack.”
In the statement, Erdoğan extended his condolences to the Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif.
At least 29 children enjoying an Easter weekend outing were among those killed when the suicide bomber struck. Pakistan has a Christian population of more than two million, despite being a majority-Muslim state.
The brutality of Sunday’s attack by Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, the group’s fifth bombing since December, reflects the movement’s attempts to raise its profile among Pakistan’s increasingly fractured Islamist militants, according to Reuters.
Punjab’s chief minister Shahbaz Sharif announced three days of mourning and pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice, said Zaeem Qadri, a spokesman for the provincial government.
Later on the same day, a Taliban splinter group named Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed the attack. The group is said to be the Pakistani wing of the terrorist organization.