Malala condemns 'senseless' killing in Pakistan park


Malala Yousafzai has condemned the "senseless killing" in her birth country Pakistan after a terrorist bombing left at least 70 dead on Easter Sunday. 

The country entered a three-day mourning period on Monday following the attack in a park in Lahore, believed to be carried out by a suicide bomber.

The 18-year-old former Nobel Prize winner, who lives in Birmingham, said: "I am devastated by the senseless killing of innocent people in Lahore. 

"My heart goes out to the victims and their families and friends. I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms."

She called for Pakistan and the world to stand together adding: "Every life is precious and must be respected and protected."

More than 300 were injured in the attack, many seriously, after a device was detonated near children's rides while families celebrated Easter in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

A breakaway Pakistani faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the carnage and said it had deliberately targeted the Christian community. 

However most of those killed were Muslims - with 14 having been identified as Christians, according to Lahore Police Superintendent Mohammed Iqbal.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who used his Easter message to urge Britons of all faiths to stand up for Christian values, said he was shocked by the attack and promised British help.

"My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims. We will do what we can to help," the PM posted on his Twitter feed.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "My thoughts are with the victims and the family of the victims of the horrific attack in Lahore.

"Solidarity with the emergency services there."

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said British nationals were advised to avoid the area and monitor travel advice updates and local media.

"My thoughts are with the victims and their families," he said.

"The UK utterly condemns these senseless acts of violence.

"We will continue to provide support and assistance to the government of Pakistan as they work to defeat those who plan and perpetrate these acts of terror."