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Suicide Bomb Blows Apart Christian Church in Pakistan
A suicide bombing occurred outside of a historic church in Peshawar Pakistan killing at least 80 people. This attack was one of the deadliest against the few Christians who are in the religious minority in Pakistan. As parishioners left the historic All Saints Church in Peshawar’s old quarter, about 600 people were eating at the church after the service. They were receiving their meal that was distributed at the site when bombs blasted through the crowd. Azim Ghori, a witness to the tragic bombings commented, “as soon as the service was finished and the food was being distributed, all of a sudden we heard one explosion followed by another.”
Minister of the interior, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan commented, “Such an attack on woman and children is against humanity.” Authorities figure that more than 100 people were wounded. Among the dead are police officers and almost 40 children.
The bodies have been moved to St. John’s Church, one of the oldest churches in the city. A large troop of police officers maintains the city grounds and the church, as mourners can enter with a security check.
A senior official of the bomb disposal squad, Shafqat Malik confirmed that every individual bomber carried six kilos of explosives on their person. This is not the first attack on non-Sunni groups, as 2 churches and more than 100 homes were burned by a large Muslim mob.
Some people believe that government policy is enabling terrorists by not being strict and cracking down on them. Christians in Pakistan hold crosses and protest the lack of justice. The roads of Lahore are blocked with picketers who condemn violence.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif commented that terrorists don’t have religion, and that their murder is against Islam as well as all religions. Groups in the country stand with those who are suffering and express solidarity. Meanwhile while policies are edited back in forth in the government, the people have taken to the streets. One young man holds up a sign in Lahore protesting, “we want justice. “It remains to be seen what the hundreds of Christians and other activists will achieve, but the roads are blocked, and the people demand to be heard.