A faction of the Islamist Taliban claimed credit Sunday for a horrific Easter attack against Christians in Pakistan that killed at least 65 people and wounded more than 300.
President Obama failed to issue a statement on the bombing, leaving the job instead to a spokesman for the National Security Council. The White House statement did not mention the religious motivation behind the bombing. Obama refuses to describe terrorism as “Islamist” and seeks to minimize or ignore the religious motivations behind Islamist attacks.
A bomb was set off near the children’s rides in a park in the city of Lahore. The park was filled with members of Pakistan’s minority Christian community celebrating Easter. A spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar told the Associated Press that a suicide bomber with the faction deliberately targeted the Christian community.
Many Christians in Pakistan say the government does little to protect them, failing take serious steps to improve their security, according to Reuters.
The death toll is expected to climb. Witnesses described a gruesome scene at the park with women and children standing in pools of blood and body parts strewn about the ground.
Obama and his family made a rare appearance in church Sunday, attending services in Alexandria, Virginia.