Suicide bombers attack church in Pakistan's Quetta before Christmas, killing nine | World Defense

Suicide bombers attack church in Pakistan's Quetta before Christmas, killing nine

Khafee

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Suicide bombers attack church in Pakistan's Quetta before Christmas, killing nine
by Gul Yousafzai, Asif Shahzad
December 17, 2017 / Updated an hour ago

QUETTA, Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Two suicide bombers stormed a packed Christian church in southwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least nine people and wounding up to 56, officials said, in the latest attack claimed by Islamic State in the country.

Police guards stationed at the church entrance and on its roof killed one of the bombers but the second attacker detonated his explosives-filled vest outside its prayer hall just after Sunday services began in Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province, said Sarfraz Bugti, the provincial home minister.

Baluchistan police chief Moazzam Jah said there were nearly 400 worshippers in the church for the pre-Christmas service. The death toll could have been much higher if the gunmen had forced their way into the sanctuary, he said.

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

“We killed one of them, and the other one exploded himself after police wounded him,” he said.

Islamic State claimed the attack, the group’s Amaq news agency said in an online statement, without providing any evidence for its claim.

Another police official, Abdur Razaq Cheema, said two other attackers escaped.

Broken wooden benches, shards of glass and musical instruments were scattered around a Christmas tree inside the prayer hall that was splashed with blood stains.

Kal Alaxander, 52, was at the church with his wife and two children when the attack happened.

“We were in services when we heard a big bang,” he told Reuters. “Then there was shooting. The prayer hall’s wooden door broke and fell on us ... We hid the women and children under desks.”

Maryam George, 20, cried at a hospital where her younger sister Alizeh was fighting for life with two broken legs and multiple other wounds.

Pakistani Christians, who number around 2 million in a nation of more than 200 million people, have been the target of a series of attacks in recent years.

STRATEGIC REGION
Baluchistan, a strategically important region bordering Iran as well as Afghanistan, is plagued by violence by Sunni Islamist sectarian groups linked to the Taliban, al Qaeda and Islamic State. It also has an indigenous ethnic Baloch insurgency fighting against the central government.

Middle East-based Islamic State has created an active branch in Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years mostly by recruiting among established militants, and its followers have claimed some of Pakistan’s most deadly attacks in recent years.

A suicide bomber killed 52 people and wounded over 100 at a Baluchistan Sufi shrine in November last year, in an attack claimed by Islamic State. In February, Islamic State attacked a Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, killing 83 people.

Violence in Baluchistan has fueled concern about security for projects in the $57 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a transport and energy link planned to run from western China to Pakistan’s southern deep-water port of Gwadar.

The church attack came a day after the third anniversary of a Pakistani Taliban attack on an army-run school that killed 134 children, one of the single deadliest attacks in the country’s history.

Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, condemned the attack.

“Quetta church attack targeting our brotherly Christian Pakistanis is an attempt to cloud Christmas celebrations,” he said. “We stay united and steadfast to respond against such heinous attempts.”

Last year’s Easter Day attack in a public park that killed more than 70 people in the eastern city of Lahore was claimed by a Taliban splinter group previously associated with Islamic State.

The United States strongly condemned “the shocking and brutal attack on innocent worshippers,” U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale said in a statement.

Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Stephen Coates and Adrian Croft
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-attack/suicide-bombers-attack-church-in-pakistans-quetta-before-christmas-killing-nine-idUSKBN1EB08E

 

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Khafee

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This barbaric act deserves every condemnation possible. Pakistanis need to stand together, and fight this menace of terrorism.

Yesterday we were mourning the death of innocent children in APS Peshawar, and today this.

These cowards keep attacking soft targets, I keep wondering, what kind of people are they? Are they even human? Besides spreading terror, what do they achieve? Nothing.

All one can really do, is pray that this senseless violence & needless bloodshed comes to an end.
 

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This barbaric act deserves every condemnation possible. Pakistanis need to stand together, and fight this menace of terrorism.

Yesterday we were mourning the death of innocent children in APS Peshawar, and today this.

These cowards keep attacking soft targets, I keep wondering, what kind of people are they? Are they even human? Besides spreading terror, what do they achieve? Nothing.

All one can really do, is pray that this senseless violence & needless bloodshed comes to an end.
really sad although we prevented much big loss but this nonsense needs to stop.
 

Scorpion

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I am deeply saddened by the news of your loss. I pray that God will grant Pakistan and its people the strength.

My most sincere condolences.
 

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Only a coward would attack place full of children and unarmed innocent people.

Pakistanis need to stand together, and fight this menace of terrorism.
We knew where the planners and executors of APS are hiding and we know where ISIS is located, plus we know that we are the only main target in this region ........... but we still afford them the freedom to keep sending their foot soldiers to attack innocent Pakistanis. This cowardice at our end needs to vanish and we need to go after them in their own hiding places.

These cowards keep attacking soft targets, I keep wondering, what kind of people are they? Are they even human? Besides spreading terror, what do they achieve? Nothing.
Paid mercenaries and their zombie foot soldiers.


All one can really do, is pray that this senseless violence & needless bloodshed comes to an end.
Ameen but current strategy of brotherhood with Afghanistan isn't helping that place is den of miscreants and mischievous people .... and its hurting Pakistan and its people a lot.
 

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Once again..Don't know when we are going to take it serious .Nothing will bring peace in Pakistan until we control our border with Pakistan and strengthening the internal security.What intrigue me is why no body is held responsible for continuous failure in security.It's like becoming a normal even after some speeches every body is back to normal...Don't know what type of humans are they who does such acts on the name of Islam, which they know nothing of in practice explained by there actions
 

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RIP to the dead.
Let Pakistan pulls out of this cancer called terrorism.
Although the security is improving compared to 2005 - 2010, more needs to be done.
 

Khafee

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Once again..Don't know when we are going to take it serious .Nothing will bring peace in Pakistan until we control our border with Pakistan and strengthening the internal security.What intrigue me is why no body is held responsible for continuous failure in security.It's like becoming a normal even after some speeches every body is back to normal...Don't know what type of humans are they who does such acts on the name of Islam, which they know nothing of in practice explained by there actions
Those who want to malign Islam
 

Scorpion

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Irony is they "Perceived themselves as pious" among all others while executing these attacks

The religious discourse of the terrorists denies the true discourse of the religion that the scholars carry and they consider the righteous scholars the scholars of the Sultan. This is very very dangerous idea that needs to be battled. I refer you to the "The Intellectual Battle Against ISIS" by Mohammed bin Rashed. A very interesting piece to enjoy the cup of coffee.
 

Hithchiker

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The religious discourse of the terrorists denies the true discourse of the religion that the scholars carry and they consider the righteous scholars the scholars of the Sultan. This is very very dangerous idea that needs to be battled. I refer you to the "The Intellectual Battle Against ISIS" by Mohammed bin Rashed. A very interesting piece to enjoy the cup of coffee.
Thank you i will surely read this one and come back to comment more on this..But problem is most of the religious scholars who are respected in society choose not to speak openly while one associated with government will surely be label as Darbari.
 

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CM Sanaullah Zehri announces compensation money for Quetta church attack victims
Last Updated On 18 December,2017 07:02 pm

QUETTA (Dunya News) – Chief Minister of Balochistan (CM) Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri on Monday has announced to give Rs1 million each to martyrs and Rs0.5 million each to injured people of Quetta church attack that killed nine people.

Talking to media, Sanaullah Zehri lauded security officers for timely action against the terrorists. He said that if militants had managed to enter the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church then the causalities would have escalated as 400 people were present in the worship place.

He said that police killed one terrorist at the gate while the other one exploded himself. Eradicating terrorism is the responsibility of police department, he added.

The minister said training programs are being launched to strengthen police and that there is a need to boost morale of the forces in order to get fruitful outcomes. We are not afraid of terrorists and their networks, he continued.
Will make Balochistan a peaceful province, the CM pledged.

Zehri also announced to give Rs1.5 million to the police officers who bravely fought against the terrorists while he also assured to recommend the name of the guard, who diverted attackers’ attention ahead of the mishap, for president award.

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.

Earlier, at least nine people, including two women, were killed and 57 sustained injuries when suicide bombers attacked Bethel Memorial Methodist Church located on Quetta’s Zarghoon Road.

An explosion took place initially and was followed by a gunfight. Police, Frontier Corps personnel, Anti-Terrorism Force (ATF) and Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) were immediately dispatched to the scene. The area was cordoned off and a search and rescue operation was carried out.

The Home Minister said that at least four militants targeted the church. He told that police intercepted and shot one bomber outside but the second attacker managed to reach the church’s main door where he blew himself up. Two others fled the scene as the personnel tightened noose on them. However; none of them succeeded in entering the church building.

The minister said about 250 people usually attend the church on Sundays, but attendance had swelled because it was close to Christmas.
In 2016, Lahore suffered one of Pakistan’s deadliest attacks during the Easter season -- a suicide bomb in a park that killed more than 70 people including many children.

Balochistan, bordering Iran and Afghanistan, is the largest of the country’s four provinces but its roughly seven million inhabitants have long argued they do not get a fair share of its vast gas and mineral wealth.

Efforts to promote peace and development have reduced the violence considerably in recent years.

http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/419634-CM-Sanaullah-Zehri-announces-compensation-money-for-Quetta-church-attack
 

I.R.A

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He said that police killed one terrorist at the gate while the other one exploded himself. Eradicating terrorism is the responsibility of police department, he added.
Yes police should be capable enough to fight and thwart such terrorists and miscreants, hiding and living inside Pakistani cities. Police revamp would surely help fighting this war.

One thing that always keeps me confused ....... is how these people manage to sneak in Quetta? Its a small city with high security, but still these idiots manage to reach city with their guns and explosive belts.
 

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