Sunday, March 15, 2015

Taliban suicide bombers kill 14 people outside Pakistani churches: Nearly 80 more wounded


An attack by Taliban suicide bombers outside two Pakistani Christian churches has killed 14 people and wounded nearly 80 more.

"The rescue operation is still underway and the death toll may increase," rescue services spokesman Sajjad Hussain said.

From CNN:

Suicide bombers attacked a Christian community in eastern Pakistan on Sunday, setting off two blasts that killed at least 14 people and wounded dozens more, officials said.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the deadly attack and warned of more to come.

The explosions, which struck the Nishtar Colony area in the city of Lahore, wounded at least 78 people, said Dr. Muhammed Saeed Sohbin, medical superintendent at Lahore General Hospital.

Video from the scene aired by CNN affiliate GEO News showed twisted metal, shattered glass and panicked residents outside a church compound. Ambulance and security personnel were seen moving in. Later footage showed water cannons arriving to disperse the crowd.

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"There will be more of such attacks," warned Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Taliban faction that claimed responsibility for the attack, said.

"I was sitting at a shop near the church when a blast jolted the area. I rushed toward the spot and saw the security guard scuffle with a man who was trying to enter the church. After failing, he blew himself up.

"I saw his body parts flying through the air," witness Amir Masih.

"One bomber exploded himself near that gate, that created chaos and during the course there was another blast," unidentified witness told Pakistan's Geo television.

"The Christian community is a soft target for militant outfits in Pakistan. But generally Christians and other religious minorities are under a constant threat by the extremist elements in the society and rampant religious intolerance," Rabia Mehmood, a researcher at the Jinnah Institute, a Pakistani think tank, said.


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