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.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs