-- An 11-year-old boy who pleaded with his mother to take him to the park was one of the many young victims of a suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday.
The devastating attack was near the children's rides at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, where Christians were celebrating Easter.
Today marks the start of a three-day mourning period in Pakistan.
The Associated Press reported that 11-year-old Sahil Pervez, who was in fifth-grade at a nearby Catholic school, begged his mother, Shama Pervez, to take him to the park. She eventually gave in.
Shama Pervez, a widow, was "inconsolable" during funeral prayers, the AP reported.
A man identified by his first name, Afzal, told the AP that he took 20 children to the hospital and carried three dead bodies to a police car.
The death toll from the attack reached 70 today. At least 300 others are injured.
The prime minister spent today in Lahore where he met with grieving families and visited the injured in hospitals.
Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the terrorist group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, told the AP that a suicide bomber from the group was targeting the Christian community. But the AP reported that most of the victims were Muslims.
The Jamaat-ul-Ahrar spokesman warned that more attacks would follow.
Pope Francis was among those who condemned the attack.
"Violence and homicidal hate lead only to pain and destruction," Francis said in Italian today while overlooking a crowded St. Peter’s square for Easter Monday’s noontime prayer. "Respect and fraternity are the only way to reach peace.
"The Lord’s Easter brings to us, in a stronger way, the prayer to God that these violent hands that spread terror and death are stopped and that love, justice and reconciliation can reign in the world.”
The U.S. State Department also condemned the terrorist attack, calling it a "cowardly act" that "targeted innocent civilians."
"The United States stands with the people and government of Pakistan at this difficult hour. We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Lahore as they respond to and recover from this terrible tragedy," State Department spokesman John Kirby said Sunday.
"Attacks like these only deepen our shared resolve to defeat terrorism around the world, and we will continue to work with our partners in Pakistan and across the region to combat the threat of terrorism.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.