State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that he did not have “the fidelity of information to confirm overtly” that the massive suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday was specifically targeting Christians celebrating Easter.
Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, the breakaway Taliban faction claiming responsibility for the attacks, told the Associated Press on Sunday that the suicide bomber “deliberately targeted the Christian community celebrating Easter.” He also said the attack was meant to protest Pakistan’s military operation in the tribal regions.
At the State Department today, referencing the condemnatory statement made by the Department but which contained no reference of the targeting of Christians, AP reporter Matt Lee asked, “There’s been some commentary about why you guys didn’t mention either the Easter connection or the Christian connection in your condemnatory statements over the weekend and again today. Do you believe the claim of responsibility that Christians were targeted and are targets?”
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