Blood Donors Crowd Lahore Hospitals Following Devastating Park Bombing on Easter Sunday


Widely circulated on social media.

Thousands lined up to donate blood at hospitals in Pakistan's second largest city Lahore after a bombing at a popular children's park in the Iqbal Town neighborhood.

At least 70 people were killed and over 250 injured at Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park. Most of the victims of the bombing are women and children.

The devastating attack took place a few meters away from a children's playground, at a time when the park was crowded with women and children celebrating Easter Sunday.

Lahore-based Journalist Rabia Mehmood, who has compiled one of the most comprehensive reports on religious persecution and violence against minorities in Pakistan, tweeted:

Following the attack, scores of citizens began coordinating efforts to donate blood and provide support to the families of the victims.

Dubai-based Pakistani Anthony Permal, who used to blog under the name Digital Christ, posted on Facebook:

It is easy to hate. They want us to hate. But the terrorist have lost. You know how I know?

Because right now thousands of Lahori men and women are queueing up outside hospitals to donate blood. Tonight, Muslim blood will flow through Christian bodies. And vice versa. You see, in hurting us, you united us. Thank you. ‪#‎LahoreStrong‬

Careem, a local on-demand taxi service, are offering free transport to the hospital for anyone willing to donate blood.

Dawn, one of Pakistan's most popular news sites, also tweeted urging people to donate blood.

And activists stepped up to coordinate efforts online:

The activists behind the form will focus “on providing food, medicine, wheelchairs/crutches or funeral services for those who cannot afford them for their loved ones.”

Meanwhile, seven hours after the bombing, Pakistani activist Jibran Nasir, who has over 70,000 Facebook followers and ran as an independent candidate in Pakistan's 2013 elections, tweeted:

On his Facebook page he added a note to this tweet:

Note: This status in no way intends to belittle the loss of precious lives today. I am also not implying that the sudden and tragic loss of lives today was meant to be a sacrifice in the War against terror. Those people didn't want to die and they deserved a peaceful and secure life. I am only acknowledging the response and unity shown today by the people of Lahore who are helping out regardless of religion/sects beings humans first.

Pakistan Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesperson from the group told Pakistan's English language newspaper Express Tribune, “We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter.”

Pakistan has been fighting Taliban-related violence and criminal gang activity for nine years.

While Lahore was dealing with the aftermath of the bombing, in the capital, Islamabad, police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters who marched in support of Islamist gunman Mumtaz Qadri. Qadri was hanged last month for murdering Punjab governor Salman Taseer five years ago. Taseer had defended a Christian woman jailed on blasphemy charges. Pakistani human rights advocates say that Pakistan's blasphemy law is overwhelmingly abused to target Christians.

Lawyer and digital rights activist, Nighat Dad, who lives near the children's park, described scenes of loss, anger and mourning in Lahore, Pakistan's second biggest city known as the City of Gardens.

US-based American-Pakistani columnist Rafia Zakaria tweeted:

And Pakistani actress and popular talk show host Nadia Jamil shared an image with one of the victims:

Human rights lawyer Mahnoor Rathore wrote:

I hear the death toll rise and the number of injured increase on the television and as I type this post, I am not sure of what to do, where to start, where to head out? Is there even a place where I can start? There are going to be talk shows on this for the next ten days, media will exploit the loss and pain of the shattered families, the government will give out blood money- compensating the loss and saving its face.


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