News / Asia

Death Toll in Pakistan Church Bombing Rises to 81

Pakistani Christians stage a protest outside the All Saints Church after two suicide bomb attacks on Sept. 22, 2013.
Pakistani Christians stage a protest outside the All Saints Church after two suicide bomb attacks on Sept. 22, 2013.
VOA News
Officials in Pakistan say the death toll from a twin suicide bombing outside a historic Christian church has risen to 81 while Christians protest the attack at sites across the country.

Three new deaths were reported Monday, a day after the bombs exploded at the All Saints Church in the northwestern city of Peshawar. Hospital officials said many of the 120 people wounded in the attack were in critical condition.

The attack was one of the deadliest against Pakistan's Christian minority. Protesters blocked roads Monday and spoke out against the violence, calling for authorities to provide better protection.

Several hundred worshippers were leaving the church to receive food on a lawn outside when the two explosions went off. Among those killed were 34 women, seven children and two Muslim police officers who had been posted outside the church.

A wing of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it would continue to target non-Muslims until the United States stopped drone attacks in the country's remote tribal region.

Pakistani intelligence officials said the latest drone strike came Sunday when missiles hit a pair of compounds in the North Waziristan tribal area, killing six suspected militants.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned what he called the "cruel" attack in a statement, saying it violated the tenets of Islam.

In Italy, Pope Francis led several thousand people in a prayer for the victims. Those who carried out the attack, he said, "took the wrong choice, one of hatred and war.''

The bombing coincides with a broader wave of attacks this year on religious minorities, including Shi'ite Muslims.

The attacks are mostly orchestrated by Sunni extremist groups, although some have also been claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.

Pakistan Church Bombing Kills at Least 78i
September 23, 2013 4:29 AM
At least 78 people have died and more than 120 wounded in a suicide attack against a church in northwestern Pakistan. A number of women and children are among the victims of Sunday’s violence, being described as the deadliest ever assault on the country’s Christian minority.

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Comment Sorting
by: Bashy Quraishy from: Copenhagen
September 23, 2013 4:20 PM
We strongly condemn suicide attacks in Pakistan, that killed 80 and wounded 120 innocent people

These latest horrendous suicide attacks on a famous Protestant All Saint's Church in Kohati gate area in Peshawar- North of Pakistan has resulted in the tragic death of 80 innocent persons while 120 are wounded. Most of them are women and children who came with their families to attend the Sunday services. Kohati Gate area is one of the sensitive localities in Peshawar, where at least three churches and several Shia places of worship are located.
This cowardly act is not only an attack on the Christian minority group in the country but is directly against the integrity, inter-religious nature and traditions of the land.
Pakistani politicians – right from Prime Minister, Minister for Interior and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government as well as intellectuals and public were quick to strongly and vehemently condemn the terrorist attack targeting Christians in Peshawar.
While all these official condemnations are timely, the Pakistani authorities must protect peaceful minorities against such future attacks and show practical solidarity with the Christian and other ethnic and religious communities, which are often targeted and suffer undeserved fate.
All peace loving people around the world are mourning this loss and share the anguish, pain and grief of the families of the victims.
If such acts of terrorism against the public are not dealt with, Pakistan would suffer on all fronts – materially, spiritually, politically - and would move slowly towards anarchy and civil strife.

Bashy Quraishy
Secretary General - European Muslim Initiative For Social Cohesion - Strasbourg
0045 40154771

Tariq Sundoo
Chairman – Pakistan-Denmark Friendship Society – Copenhagen

by: drhuman from: pakistan
September 23, 2013 3:53 PM
well, no doubt lip service is the only thing service offered to us by our politicians but these attacks occur in response to that intense war going on in that area.intensifying war would only result in punishing the poor, innocent people rather than those corrupt politicians who are actually to be blamed for not implementing law and order in the country properly. a pakistani!

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 23, 2013 12:34 PM
Lip service to these attacks avail nothing. Concrete action plan should be laid out to tackle this menace. For all you know, some of these leaders who issue statements "strongly condemning" these attacks sometimes have made their list of statements in advance in notebooks from where they pick out one to be published in their name as their contribution to condemning terrorism. It's not true, it is falsehood for which they deserve punishment.

The war on terror should be intensified. For instance, Pakistan knows who the terrorists are, (imagine Osama bin Laden in Abotabad) and an ultimatum to the tribal regional heads to produce the bad eggs for definite penalties in case of failure would have gone a long way in curbing the menace.

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