LAHORE, Pakistan, March 29 (UPI) — More than 200 people have been detained and thousands questioned in the deadly Easter attack in Pakistan’s populous Punjab region over the weekend, government officials said Tuesday.
Sunday’s bombing at Gulshan-i-Iqbal park in Lahore killed at least 72 people, officials confirmed, and that toll is expected to rise in the coming days. The park and surrounding areas were crowded at the time of the explosion due to the Easter celebrations.
Taliban offshoot Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which claimed responsibility for the bombing, said it had targeted members of Pakistan’s minority Christian community with the blast. Most of those killed, though, were Muslims, officials said.
More than 300 people were injured in the attack. At least 29 of the victims are children, officials said.
Pakistani officials said a sweeping counterterror offensive and manhunt for the perpetrators is ongoing, and has led to the questioning of about 5,000 people. Of those, about 200 have been detained, Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah said.
“There are no militant safe-havens or no-go areas in Punjab,” Sanaullah said Tuesday.
Authorities said thousands of weapons and cachets of ammunition have also been seized in raids aimed at bringing the attackers to justice.