Sunday, September 26, 2010
Unknown Militants Bomb Lutheran Church in Mardan City, Northern Pakistan
Some Christians speculate that it may have been a revenge attack for the threatened Koran (Qur’an) burning in Florida
By Jawad Mazhar
Special Correspondent for ANS, reporting from Pakistan
MARDAN, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- News has just reached the ASSIST News Service that unidentified militants used a remote-controlled bomb to attack the Sarhadi Lutheran Church in Yadgar Chowk Avenue, Mardan City, in the northern Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa (KP) province, on Sunday, September 12, 2010, injuring a policeman and a security guard.
According to the statement by Bishop Majeed, the church is located in the heart of this city in the North West of Pakistan.
He added that the Rev. Ghulam Shad is the priest-in-charge of the attacked church and the Rev. Chand Masih is the deputy priest.
“The policeman, identified as Fazl-e-Rabbi, was immediately taken to the Mardan District Headquarters Hospital but there was no doctor who was able to treat him, so he was shifted to a larger hospital in Peshawar, which is bigger and well equipped for the urgent indispensable medical treatment the injured policeman required.”
When asked if he thought this was the work of a suicide bomber, the Bishop said that, at the time of bomb blast, he along with his family, were strolling in the church grounds were the bomb was set off and “did not see any one blowing him or herself up,” therefore he felt that it was “a planted bomb blast.”
The Bishop added that although his "whole family "were near to the blast, they “remained safe and sound” and none of them received “even a scratch.”
To a query about the devastation to the Lutheran Church, he said that the bomb blast had partly “mangled the main gate” and the “shock wave was so powerful that window panes were shattered and doors were displaced."
A case has now been registered by a church delegation at the local police against the “unknown bomb planters” for attempted murder, causing and explosion and also for committing a crime outlined in the Anti Terrorism Act.
“High ranking police officers have pledged to beef up security at the church and assured us that they would ensure that all the minorities and their worship places were safe, particularly of Christians in the northern region of Pakistan."
This is a region that is known is a hot bed of terrorism, insurgency and Islamic fanaticism.
Bishop Peter Majeed has now appealed to the "whole world to pray for the safety of Christians in Pakistan,” and now a Christian Provincial legislator of Punjab, Mr. Tahir Naveed Chaudhary, has roundly condemned the attack on the church and has since consoled the victim’s families.
Although the motive for the attack is still unknown, some media reports here in Pakistan have linked the blast at the Lutheran church to the “threats” of burning the Koran (Qur’an,) by a Gainesville, Florida, church which had been called off, but still the attackers, some Christians here have surmised, had decided to go ahead and “punish” Christians for the even the threat of the burning.
Any many of our Christians in Pakistan have heaved a great sigh of relief that the burning was cancelled, fearing that the death toll here and in other Islamic countries, could have been very high.
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