United Nations chief condemns terrorist attack in Pakistan

Pakistan Kirche Symbolbild

Two suicide bombers attacked a church packed with worshipers on Sunday in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least eight people and injuring at least 30 others, several critically, officials said. However, the second assailant managed to reach the entrance to the church where he blew himself up.

The provincial police chief, Moazzam Ansari, said security forces were trying to find those who orchestrated the attack.

The "Islamic State" jihadi group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Police said they were searching for further suspects and analyzing CCTV footage to check the claims.

According to the police spokesperson, among the nine killed were two women and five men, in addition to the two attackers.

One of the attackers detonated his vest among the "Crusaders while the other was killed in a clash with the renegade Pakistani security forces", it said.

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Sunil Pervaiz, who was at the church with his sister during the assault, said that the parishioners were busy worshipping when the firing started. "It was sheer chaos", Pervaiz told Morning Star News.

It is the first time IS has claimed an attack on a church in Pakistan, though Muslim extremists have targeted churches in the past. Security had been raised for the church following the last attack, which took place a few years ago.

As the terrorists attacked the Church when Christians were gathering for prayers, the WCR statement said, it was a direct attack on the religious assembly of the Christian community which is not acceptable in any case and not allowed by any religion's values.

Following Sunday's blast, dozens of Christians protested outside the hospital in Quetta, as well as in the northwestern city of Peshawar, urging officials to protect religious minorities.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa denounced the attack, saying it was an attempt to cloud Christmas celebrations.

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