Senior police officer Haider Ashraf says the explosion took place close to the children’s rides in Gulshan-e-Iqbal park. He says the explosion appeared to have been a suicide bombing, but investigations were ongoing. The area was crowded with Christians celebrating the Easter holidays, he said.
“Most of the dead and injured are women and children,” explained Mustansar Feroz, the police superintendent.
The suicide bomber blew himself up “just outside the exit gate and feet away from a children’s play area” at the park. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
It is only a matter of time before the Islamic State’s branch in the Egyptian Sinai carries out a “big operation” in the Israeli resort town of Eilat and other parts of southern Israel, a leading Islamic State-allied militant claimed in an exclusive interview.
The deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels last week and in Paris last November are dress rehearsals for a coming “big” attack inside the United States, a leading Islamic State-allied militant claimed in an exclusive interview.
Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari, a Salafist movement senior official in the Gaza Strip, made the claim in a pre-recorded, hour-long interview to air in full on Sunday on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” the popular weekend talk radio program broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia. Klein doubles as Breitbart’ssenior investigative reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief.
IS has been reluctant to officially declare its presence in Gaza for fear of a Hamas clampdown, but the group is known to be active in the coastal enclave and Ansari is a suspected IS leader. IS-aligned militants have taken responsibility for recent rocket fire from Gaza aimed at Israel.
Klein asked Ansari whether IS maintains cells inside the U.S. and if the terrorist group is “planning anything in America.”
But I can tell you that when we are in touch with our different components, with the leaders of the Islamic State. They confirm, they make it very sure and very clear that it is only a question of time when there will be a strike in America. And as I said before, what you saw in Paris, what you saw in Brussels will be only a small rehearsal in comparison with what will happen in the United States.
Syrian government forces backed by heavy Russian air support drove Islamic State out of Palmyra on Sunday, inflicting what the army called a mortal blow to militants who seized the city last year and dynamited its ancient temples.
The loss of Palmyra represents one of the biggest setbacks for the ultra-hardline Islamist group since it declared a caliphate in 2014 across large parts of Syria and Iraq.
The army general command said that its forces took over the city with support from Russian and Syrian air strikes, opening up the huge expanse of desert leading east to the Islamic State strongholds of Raqqa and Deir al-Zor.
Russia's intervention in September turned the tide of Syria's five-year conflict in Assad's favour. Despite its declared withdrawal of most military forces two weeks ago, Russian jets and helicopters carried out dozens of strikes daily over Palmyra as the army pushed into the city.
"This achievement represents a mortal blow to the terrorist organisation and lays the foundation for a great collapse in the morale of its mercenaries and the beginning of its defeat," the army command statement said.
In a pointed message to the United States, which has led a separate Western and Arab coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq since 2014, the military command said its gains showed that the army "and its friends" were the only force able to uproot terrorism.
In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Assad said Russia's air support had been essential in taking back Palmyra, and said the city would be rebuilt.
"Palmyra was demolished more than once through the centuries ... and we will restore it anew so it will be a treasure of cultural heritage for the world," Syrian television quoted Assad as saying.