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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs