Dozens of Christian men, women and children slaughtered in Pakistan bomb blast

Rescue workers move a body from the site of the blast outside the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park in Lahore.Reuters

More than 65 people have been murdered and about 300 more injured in a bomb blast in a public park in Pakistan.

Most of the dead and injured are believed to be Christian women and children.

The blast took place a few yards from a packed children's playground, in the car parking area of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park in Lahore, Punjab province, where hundreds of Christian families had gathered to celebrate Easter. A Taliban group has claimed responsibility.

The Punjab is the political base of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Salman Rafique, a Punjab government health adviser, said many of the injured were in critical condition.

 Police superintendent Mustansar Feroz told Reuters: "Most of the dead and injured are women and children." 

Men mourn the death of their relatives.Reuters

The BBC reported scenes of chaos as terrified adults and children tried to flee the park.

One man told Geo TV in Pakistan that he had been going towards a ride with his wife and two children when they were thrown to the floor by the huge blast.

Another local resident, Hasan Imran, who was walking in the park, told Reuters: "When the blast occurred, the flames were so high they reached above the trees and I saw bodies flying in the air."

Security officials at the site of the blastReuters

The Punjab government immediately ordered the closure of public parks and three days of mourning. Shops were shut and the army called in for crowd control.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted:

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tweeted:

Christians in Lahore have been targeted in previous attacks. In March last year, two bombs killed 15 and injured 70 at two churches in Youhanabad. There was also an attack in 2013 on a church in Peshawar.