Sunday, September 22, 2013
Pakistan Church Blast Kills Dozens
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
PAKISTAN (ANS) -- A twin-suicide bombing outside a church in Peshawar in Pakistan has killed at least 75 people and wounded more than 120.
The BBC reported that police say two bombers blew themselves up as worshipers were coming out of the city's historic All Saints church after attending Sunday Mass.
Relatives of the victims gathered at the scene to protest against the government's failure to protect them.
Militants linked to Pakistani Taliban have said they carried out the bombing. The group, Jandullah, said it was in retaliation US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal northwest.
Witnesses said they heard two blasts, the second more powerful than the first.
According to the BBC story, officials said suicide vests were later found outside the church.
It is the latest in a series of attacks on Pakistani Christians, who represent about 1.6 percent of the country's largely Muslim population.
The BBC's Shahzeb Jillani in Pakistan said the attack has outraged many people, but there is also a sense of helplessness about the government's apparent inability to prevent such atrocities.
There were angry scenes outside the church, with friends and relatives denouncing the government.
In a statement made available to the ASSIST News Service, Shahid Khan, vice-chairperson of the British-based human rights organization Global Minorities Alliance, said the attack was “a security lapse where the government has failed to protect the minorities.”
He added, “I am deeply concerned about the chaotic situation at the scene of (the) incident, where church members have no clue where their loved ones are. There are so many people missing and there is no help for the deeply shocked Christian community.”
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