China strongly condemns terrorist attack in Quetta

19 December, 2017, 11:45 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Pakistan       by Sarfraz Ali | Published

Two suicide bombers have stormed a Christian church in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least four people.

Initial reports had described the church as Catholic.

Even though terror attacks are common in Quetta but still the security project of "safe city" could not turn the tables for the provincial capital.

Government officials told worldwide media that one radical detonated himself at the gate of the church, while another was killed while shooting at worshippers.

"We killed one of them, and the other one exploded himself after police wounded him".

Police said terrorists attacked Bether Memorial Methodist church when the Sunday prayer was being held. The suicide jacket which was defused contained 15 kilogrammes of explosive material. The city has witnessed recent several attacks in the past two years.

The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Balochistan home minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti confimed two suicide bombers were involved in the attack.

"God Forbid, if the terrorists had succeeded in their plans more than 400 precious lives would have been at stake", Bugti wrote on Twitter.

Jacob Masih, another worshiper, said that the attack occurred so suddenly that the congregation was thunder-struck.

According to Reuters, the attack left much destruction inside the church with broken pews, glass and blood splattered on the church's Christmas tree.

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"We immediately asked the people to take shelter beneath the benches, as we were not sure about the attackers' location", the pastor said. "Then there was shooting".

Local television showed ambulances and security patrols racing to the scene as women and children were being led out of the church's main gate. The area has been cordoned off and an emergency situation was imposed in all hospitals across Quetta.

Dr Wasim said over 50 injured were brought to Civil Hospital, 12 of them were later moved to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in view of their critical condition.

The most fatal attack was the double-suicide blast on a Peshawar church, which killed 85 people in September 2013.

Jah said the venue - Bethel Memorial Methodist Church - was on high alert as Christian places of worship are often targeted by extremists over the Christmas season.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack and directed the authorities concerned to provide the best available medical treatment to the wounded people.

He said the whole nation was united in the fight against terrorism and had the determination to confront it.

Balochistan Inspector General Police (IGP) Moazzam Ansari confirmed a major tragedy had been avoided by the quick response of security forces. "My prayers go to the victims' families and for the speedy recovery of the injured", Khan tweeted.

Meanwhile, a case against the attack has been registered whereas the lawyers have also boycotted the judicial proceedings and hoisted black flag on the court rooms.

Pakistani security forces have surrounded the site and are trying to enter the church, but heavily armed assailants are firing at them with automatic weapons from inside.

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