Winnipeg vigil held for Lahore, Pakistan bombing victims

Dozens of members of the Pakistani community in Winnipeg gathered on Wednesday evening to remember the victims of a massive suicide bombing on Easter Sunday in Lahore, Pakistan.

80-100 people took part in a candlelight vigil at the University of Manitoba on Wednesday

80 to 100 people took part in a candlelight vigil at the University of Manitoba to show solidarity with the victims of a suicide bombing attack in Lahore, Pakistan on Easter Sunday. (Courtesy of the Pakistani Students' Association )

Dozens of members of the Pakistani community in Winnipeg gathered on Wednesday evening to remember victims of a massive suicide bombing on Easter Sunday in Lahore, Pakistan.

The candlelight vigil was organized by the University of Manitoba's Pakistani Students' Association and held at the University of Manitoba.

"We organized a candlelight vigil to show solidarity [with victims]," said Masroor Khan, president of the Pakistani Students' Association at the University of Manitoba.

At least 70 people died in the weekend attack. Bombers targeted Christians gathered in a popular park but most victims were Muslim, said Khan.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban that publicly supports the Islamic State, took responsibility for the attack.

"I am a Muslim but Islam doesn't spread a message of violence or fight or terrorism or atrocity, Islam is a religion of peace," said Khan.

Lahore is the capital city of the province of Punjab, the most populous province in Pakistan. Khan said the city is known for its rich cultural history and "no one expects such things to happen over there."

"Lahore, Pakistan is known as the heart of Pakistan," said Khan. The student leader has uncles, cousins and many friends in the city.

"Fortunately they are not directly affected by it but still I feel for Lahore and Pakistan," he said.

The Pakistani Students' Association at the University of Manitoba also held vigils for the 2014 Peshawar school massacre and for the Bacha Khan University attacks earlier this year.