8 Killed, 44 Injured After Deadly suicide Bombing in Pakistan Church
A suicide bomb and gun attack on a Methodist church in Pakistan has killed no fewer than eight people, reports say.
According to Civil Hospital spokesperson Dr Waseem Baig, about 44 people were also injured as terrorists attacked the Bethel Memorial Church located on Zarghoon Road, in the city of Quetta, some 65km (40 miles) from the border with Afghanistan.
Home Minister Balochistan, Mir Sarfraz Bugti told Geo News that two suicide bombers stormed the church, one of them was shot dead at the entrance, while the other suicide bomber blew himself up outside the church hall.
Mr. Bugti added that had the men not been stopped there could have been hundreds of casualties.
By the grace of Almighty, 02 Suicide Bombers stopped on entrance of Church in #Quetta. LEAs took 16 mins to complete the op. CCPO & DC #Quetta along with IG Police #Balochistan lead the operation from forefront.
— Sarfraz Bugti (@PakSarfrazbugti) December 17, 2017
“The terrorists had weapons and it seems they wanted to take hostages inside the church. The police and FC guards present stopped this from happening,” said Bugti.
According to Bugti, Pakistan was fighting the war on terrorism from the front and there were reports of such an attack taking place.
Security forces are conducting a search operation and have surrounded the site of the attack, in the city’s high-security zone, Pakistani media report.
According to officials, the two suicide bombers were between the ages of 16 and 20, and a suicide jacket which was defused contained 15 kilogrammes of explosive material.
Inspector General Police (IGP) Balochistan, Moazzam Ansari confirmed to media that 400 people were present inside the church at the time of the attack and a major tragedy was avoided due to the quick response of security forces.
“The suicide bombers were unable to enter the main building of the church. If they were able to do this and we did not have security deployed to neutralise them, they would have caused a lot of damage,” said Ansari.
Attacks in the mainly Sunni Muslim region are not uncommon, often targeting the Hazara Shia Muslim community in suicide bombings.
But Pakistan’s Christian minority has also frequently been the subject of militant attacks, and guards had been placed near the church in Quetta as a result.
The church had organised different programmes all throughout December to mark Christmas, according to its Facebook page and was holding a ‘Sunday School Christmas Programme’ at the time of the attack.
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