More than sixty killed in suicide bombing of Pakistan church


Update: [Over Sixty dead in twin blast in Peshawar Church, news by The Hindu]

It occurred as hundreds of worshipers were coming out of the church in the city’s Kohati Gate district after services to get a free meal of rice offered on the front lawn.

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The Sunday prayers at the All Saints Church inside the Kohati Gate area of Peshawar ended in tragedy as two suicide bombers dressed in police uniforms blew themselves up while people were coming out and killed at least 60, apart from injuring over 100. This is a major terrorist strike on a church though last year, protestors burnt and ransacked St Paul’s church in Mardan, over 60 km from Peshawar.

As the country was stunned by the latest bomb blast, fifty doctors and scores of medical personnel grappled with the severely wounded, many of them women and children at Lady Reading hospital. Eleven of those injured in blast have been evacuated to the Combined Military Hospital in Peshawar for emergency medical treatment.

Police said that the terrorists opened fire at the security guards at the entrance of the church, possibly killing one. An eyewitness Ahmed Ali who lives near the church told a private TV channel that the blasts took place around 11 am near the church when he saw a person blowing himself up and a little later another man did the same thing. The blast shattered the glass panes of nearby houses including his own, Ali said.

The death toll is expected to rise as many of the injured are in a critical condition. While the police say it was a suicide bombing no group has as yet taken responsibility for this. Security agencies were quoted as saying that each of the bombers was carrying six kg of explosives. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) government has decided to tighten the security for minorities and institutions after this incident.

All Saints Memorial church with its distinctive Saracenic architecture first opened for service in December, 1883. In a statement online, the Rt Rev Humphrey S. Peters, Peshawar has condemned the suicide attack and said it was a total failure of the new KPK government which did not provide security to the minorities in the province. He said he spoke to one of the parish members who lost his aunt and nephew in this attack. Among the dead were a number of Sunday School children and choir members of the Church who were all in the compound at the time of the blasts.

Shiraz Paracha, spokesperson for the KPK chief minister told The Hindu from Peshawar that this kind of terrorist bombing was unprecedented in Peshawar and condemned the shocking incident. He said there was no room for such attacks on minorities. The church is located in Kohati Gate, an inner city area of Peshawar and the incident has been strongly condemned by the chief minister Parvez Khattak. He said that this act of terror on minorities was absolutely unacceptable and the government was planning to extend all forms of help to the people injured or to the families of those who were killed.

Meanwhile there was all round condemnation of the bombing and protest rallies were being taken out in some parts. Churches across the country have announced a three- day mourning in protest, according to TV reports, as leaders called for peace. The Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf which heads the KPK government, condemned the blast and said protection of minorities is a central duty of the state, provincial and federal governments. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has called for a three- day mourning in support of the Christian community.

The Peshawar Diocese was created in 1980 and it is one of the largest in the country. The total number of Christians living in the KPK Province is around 100,000 out of a provincial population of around 17 million, according to the Diocese website. Last September in Mardan over an hour’s drive from Peshawar, a protest against a film turned violent resulting in the burning and ransacking of St. Paul’s Church and the school, the library, the vicarage and two other houses inside the premises.

On the day he was leaving for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the bomb blasts and said terrorists have no religion. Targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions. He expressed solidarity with the Christian community and has directed the Cabinet Division to immediately make helicopters available to the KPK Government for evacuation of injured for specialized treatment to Islamabad or any other city.

[Associated Press] A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed at least 52 people and wounded over 100 Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years.download (12)
download (13)

The bombing underlines the threat posed by Islamic extremists as the government seeks a peace deal with domestic Taliban militants.

It occurred as worshippers were coming out of the church in Peshawar city following services to get a free meal of rice offered on the front lawn, said a top government administrator, Sahibzada Anees.

It was not immediately clear whether one or two suicide bombers carried out the attack.

Witnesses said they heard two blasts, the second more powerful than the first. One police officer, Zahir Shah, said he believed both blasts were caused by suicide bombers.

The dead included several women and children, said Sher Ali Khan, a doctor at a hospital in Peshawar where the victims were being treated.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion will likely fall on one of the country’s many Islamic militant groups. Islamic militants have been blamed for previous attacks on the Muslim country’s Christian minority, as well as Muslim groups they consider heretics.

Islamic militants have carried out dozens of attacks across the country since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office in June, even though he has made clear that he believes a peace deal with the largest group, the Taliban, is the best way to tamp down violence in the country.

Pakistan’s major political parties endorsed Sharif’s call for negotiations earlier this month. But the Taliban have said that the government must release militant prisoners and begin pulling troops out of the northwest tribal region that serves as their sanctuary before they will begin talks.


13 thoughts on “More than sixty killed in suicide bombing of Pakistan church

    • Hi Raj, that is very, very sad. Did the talibans kill all those 75 Christian worshippers?

      Bearing that in mind, do you know that the USA kills hundreds of Talibans who have never attacked nor provoked any country in the world, on daily basis?? What do ye say to that??

      regards

      Plum

      • Plum,

        Do you want to justify the killing of more than 70 innocent Human Beings with what the Americans do to Talibanis?

        Also would like to know, since when the Talibanis became innocent, as you said that they have never attacked or provoked any country.

        Some me some credentials, which prove that Americans kill the Talibanis who were innocent..

        Regards

        • Dear Raj, when did the Taliban attack the USA or its Allies or any other country in the world??

          Taliban are people like the Jews, Indians, like any other people. Why has the USA been terrorising the lives of those people living in Afghanistan??

          What has been the death toll of those Taliban through the deadliest bombardments and drone attacks on daily basis? If the story of Osama’s killing by the USA has to go by, though very difficult to swallow, was he eventually found in Afghanistan??

          Why the killings of the Afghans in the first place???

          Regards

          Plum

          • Yes, the Talibanis are Human, but certainly not like us. They love to kill innocent people in name of Islam. Killing undoubtedly is their favorite past time.

            Now you are wrong in stating that America is terrorizing these born terrorists. Why do America need to fight these people because of nothing.

            Instead, I read daily all most 2-3 deadly attacks, which is directly or indirectly related to Taliban and other Islamic terrorist organization.

            Its shame that you are backing them off, you and Zakir Naik are no different. Believing and supporting a terrorist makes you too one of them,

            Thanks

        • Dear Raj, the Al-Shabab militants have sieged a shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya where I live -for the second day ending today, having killed almost 50 people and injuring almost another 100.

          Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility and they say it is in retaliation against our forces occupying their country of Somalia. We are there for Peace and stability purpose but shall retaliate to this siege, once proved the claim of Al-Shabab, with all the force available and will not go for satyagraha of Gandhiji but Tooth for a Tooth as the Quran says!!

          Thanks to your humble and great PM for the letter he has sent to us of solidarity, today.

          Regards

          Plum

          • Hi Raj, Afghanistan has NEVER attacked any country in the world since its birth around 6000 BC to date. Many dynasties /empires/emperors/kings/countries have tried to rule it but all have failed miserably over the centuries. Even the British fought them in THREE Anglo-Afghan wars, still the British were defeated in colonising Afghanistan and signed eventually “the Treaty of Rawalpindi” in August 1920 and in that remembrance, Afghans celebrate August 20 as their Independence Day.

            Now read this : “In response to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the Carter administration and Reagan administration in the U.S. began ARMING the MUJAHIDEEN, thanks in large part to the efforts of Charlie Wilson and CIA officer Gust Avrakotos. Early reports estimated that $6–20 billion had been spent by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia but more recent reports state that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia provided as much as up to $40 billion in cash and weapons, which included over two thousand FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles, for BUILDING UP ISLAMIC GROUPS against the Soviet Union. The U.S. handled most of its support through Pakistan’s ISI. Saudi Arabia was also providing financial support.”

            The 10-year Soviet occupation resulted in the deaths of between 850,000 and 1,500,000 Afghan civilians. the Soviets withdrew in 1989. Their withdrawal from Afghanistan was seen as an ideological victory in the United States, which had BACKED some MUJAHIDEEN factions through three U.S. presidential administrations to counter Soviet influence in the” vicinity of the oil-rich Persian Gulf”.

            The Taliban seized Kabul on September 27, 1996, and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They imposed on the parts of Afghanistan under their control their political and judicial interpretation of Islam issuing edicts forbidding women to work outside the home, attend school, or to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative.

            Pakistani President Musharraf – then as Chief of Army Staff – was responsible for sending thousands of Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban and Bin Laden against the forces of Massoud. Human Rights Watch cites no human rights crimes for the forces under direct control of Massoud for the period from October 1996 until the assassination of Massoud in September 2001. They also destroyed the Buddhist Idols.

            it means all the “bads” started “happening”, from the time of the Mullah dude called “OMAR”, after 2001, who “refused” to handover the “fake” Laden, an invention of the USA. Bin Laden NEVER lived. The “19” Arabs never attacked the USA. The USA always supported the insurgents against the Russians… to destroy all the USSR power hold to the persian gulf for Oil, they demonised the Afghans > a fake “Bin Laden” hero was created, photoshopped videos were supplied to the USA controlled TV stations around the world!! And the world swallowed everything.

            The USA is interested in the control of the Oil reserves in the Persian Gulf and of all the oil reserves in the world. It does not value life of others as can be seen from the usage of cruise missiles upon a defenceless poor people. One time they exterminated the entire population of the Red Indians, threw unfairly Atomic bombs on innocent Japanese, used chemical agents called “Agent Orange” on vietnamese, killed millions of innocent Iraqis on false pretences of biological weapons, now going for Syria…arming the cruel militants……….oh…oh! It is all for Oil. (s:wiki)

            “Afghanistan has untapped mineral and energy reserves estimated to be worth up to $US3 trillion with vast deposits of resources including oil and gas, iron ore, gold and copper. (s:ABC News)

            Are the USA citizens aware of the atrocities committed by their own chosen governments??? Do they feel for the mutiliations, rapes, mass killings, bellies of pregnant women ruptured, children dying, thousands of murders, more murders and more and more exterminations of human lives on daily basis!!!! Are they that evil???? is it that the rest of the world can go to hell as long as they are growing fat with the oil of other countries, like…the elephant seals.and basking in the blood of the poorest people in the world??? Will there be ever an end those killings??

            Regards

            Plum

      • Yes, we all know. But its more important to know why they were killed? Just because they were non-Muslims? This is height of Inhumanity and Insanity..

        Muslims need to be taught in their own language, which they understand. I hope more countries come forward to eradicate all the nations of terrorists..

        • Hi Raj, You asked for the contents :

          “Excellency,

          I was deeply shocked and saddened by the brutal terror attack yesterday on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. This incident is a stark reminder that the persisting menace of terrorism remains a formidable challenge that calls for a concerted and sustained response from the global community.India condemns in the strongest terms this heinous and senseless assault, which has snuffed out so many innocent lives, including nationals of both our countries.

          We stand in solidarity with you and the Government and the people of Kenya in this hour of grief. Please convey our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and our good wishes to the injured for a full and speedy recovery. I am confident that Your Excellency and the people of Kenya will have the strength and resilience to deal with this tragedy and respond firmly to the forces of terror. We stand ready to assist you in your efforts.

          Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

          The Al Shabab guys want Kenya to get out of their land, Somalia. The Kenyan forces are part of UN’s peace keeping forces. The Kenyans had waged war against the Al Shabab guys for the kidnapping of our two elderly tourists and killing them. For that we diminished their stronghold in Kismayu and now they are retaliating but will NOT succeed as the “siege” will hopefully end today.

          Regards

          Plum

        • Rahul Raj, I’m a Muslim and I hate terrorists. Come with me. Let’s kick butt of those filthy extremists. Is it OK? What do you want else? Practical evidence? We Muslims are killing terrorists in Pakistan. We Muslims are issuing verdicts against terrorists. We Muslims are protesting against terrorism. Iran hangs every single terrorists it captures. It was a Muslim who informed Americans of Ben Laden.

          Rahul Raj, hate evil, not the evil-doer. But you’re an abnormal inhumane person with pathetic mindset who thinks that all Muslims are terrorists or it’s Islam that’s inciting terror. How funny! 😀

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