News / Asia

At Least 78 Killed in Pakistan Church Bombing

Pakistani Christians stage a protest outside the All Saints Church after two suicide bomb attacks in Peshawar on September 22, 2013.
Pakistani Christians stage a protest outside the All Saints Church after two suicide bomb attacks in Peshawar on September 22, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
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.    

Pakistani police say hundreds of worshipers were coming out of the church building in central Peshawar after the morning service, when two suicide bombers struck them one after the other.

The powerful explosions are said to have instantly caused most of the deaths.  Eyewitnesses say people were screaming for help while human remains were strewn all over the church.

Survivors wailed and searched for their loved ones, while cursing the authorities for providing inadequate security to the church.

Rescue workers rushed to the scene to transport victims to the nearby Lady Reading Hospital where doctors say they were struggling to save lives of a number of those “critically” wounded.

This woman told reporters outside the church her cousins, brothers and nephews were all inside the church at time of the attack, but she could not locate any of them.  
Another man standing nearby, holding a baby bottle, said his uncle and other loved ones were also missing.

He says Christians are a peaceful community and do not harm or abuse anyone, but even then they are being subjected to this cruelty.

The Pakistani Taliban, who are waging a bloody insurgency in Pakistan, have frequently targeted mosques and places of worship in addition to deadly attacks on security forces.  The violence has killed thousands of Pakistanis across the nation in recent years.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the church bombing, saying “the terrorists have no religion and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions."

Sharif’s government is seeking a controversial peace deal with the Pakistani Taliban militants to try to end extremist violence gripping the country.
 
That policy is under fire from those who believe engaging in peace talks with militants is a mistake.  

An attack last week on a military convoy that also killed a top army general and Sunday’s church bombing are likely to fuel that criticism.
Farhatulla Babar is an opposition Senator.
 
“There have been several negotiations and peace pacts signed with the militants in the past, but in none of the agreements they kept those promises, all those pacts failed, they were not honored,” Babar said. "There is no likelihood that the negations this time around will succeed.”
 
Defense and security issues expert Ikram Sehgal believes attempts to engage militants in talks will only help these extremists to regroup.
 
“What they are interested in trying to impose their type of will on the populous of Pakistan and that is of violence, of mayhem of death of destruction, not of peace and harmony,” Sehgal said.
 
Taliban militants while welcoming the peace talks offer have demanded release of all their prisoners and withdrawal of troops from the northwestern tribal belt, a known militant sanctuary before engaging in any talks with the government.

Pakistan Church Bombing Kills at Least 78i
X
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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by: flafreethinker from: clearwater fl.
September 23, 2013 10:54 AM
It is time, way over due, for the science community of the world to come forward and put an end to this nonsense once and for all. Religion needs to be eradicated from the earth and replaced by science. There is no god, never has been and religious teachings of any faith are myth and superstition.

by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
September 23, 2013 3:19 AM
This is shameful act of TALIBAN who is giving wrong message to the world about ISLAM. In our prophet days CHRISTIAN used to pray in Madina Mosque with the permission of our Prophet. These Talibans, Qaida, Al Nusra and so many so called JIHADI organizations sponsor by SAUDI ARABIA. They have very narrow meaning of Islam and if any body differ with their opinion they will become KAFFAR with in seconds. What is going on in Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and so many other places all well funded and supported by Saudia.

They feel only they are true Muslims and others will go to hell. Taliban and Qaida in Pakistan well supported and funded by Saudia. Federal and Provincial Ministers are engage to increase their Overseas properties and bank balance in a very short time. These MINISTERS have no faith and trust on PAKISTAN, that is why their families are enjoying their life in Middle East and Western Countries at the cost of POOR PAKISTANI TAX MONEY. We do not think current army of ministers will ever solve Pakistan problem when their mission is to have peaceful life for their family next ten years without any work.

by: Baay Kdaing from: Toronto
September 23, 2013 12:23 AM
Killing in the name of God ( Hate)

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