Multiple casualties in Pakistan Methodist church attack

Pakistan       by Sarfraz Ali | Published

Pakistan by Sarfraz Ali | Published

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti in a statement said, "Hundreds of worshippers were attending services at the church ahead of Christmas at the time of attack". Police killed one assailant, but the other suicide bomber made it to the entrance of the prayer hall and opened fire at worshippers before detonating his explosive vest.

Yet not any terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the church attack of Quetta.

Security forces led congregants out of the church.

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Waseem Baig, spokesperson for a civic hospital, told Xinhua through telephone that eight people were killed and 44 others injured in the suicidal blast in Quetta.

The gunmen - aged between 16 and 20 - infiltrated Bethel Memorial Church in Quetta, West Pakistan during a Sunday midday service.

An emergency has been declared in all public hospitals in Quetta. They lauded the quick response of security forces posted to the church which prevented the attackers from causing maximum damage.

Ansari said that police assigned to the church's security reacted in a timely manner and averted a much larger tragedy.

The attack happened in the city of Quetta, some 65km (40 miles) from the border with Afghanistan.

A young girl in a white dress sobbed as she recounted the attack to Geo television, saying many people around her were wounded. "We stay united and steadfast to respond against such heinous attempts".

"The govt must ensure special protection for churches as Christmas approaches".

President Mamnoon Hussain and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal strongly condemned the church attack and called the terrorists action "cowardly attacks".

The British Pakistani Christian Association has sent out its officers to help assist families victimized by the attack.

Christians make up 2 percent of Pakistan's population and face persecution from hard-line Islamists who want to see a strict interpretation of Islamic law take precedence in the legal system.

"December is a month of Christian religious rituals", Gill added.

The CCTV footage showed how two attackers, wrapped up in their shawls and carrying rifles, struggled to enter the main gate which the security guards had earlier closed.

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