Published: Wed, December 20, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Gunmen open fire on Christians in Pakistan

Gunmen open fire on Christians in Pakistan

"The gunmen wearing explosives-filled vests stormed the church in Quetta city when Sunday services had just opened, exploding a suicide vest and shooting at the Christian worshippers, said Sarfraz Bugti, the home minister of Baluchistan province".

Police officer Mohammad Atiq said police and army troops had surrounded the church and were exchanging fire with the attackers.

He 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.

In March 2015, two suicide bombers attacked two churches in the eastern city of Lahore, killing 15 people.

ISIS called the attacker who detonated his vest one of the "Crusaders" and said the other was killed while fighting "renegade Pakistani security forces".

"The security forces foiled their plan", he added.

"The prayer hall's wooden door broke and fell on us ..."

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Following the attack, an emergency was declared in all hospitals across Quetta. "We had demanded the government beef up security for churches all over the country".

A young girl in a white dress sobbed as she recounted the attack to television, saying many people around her were wounded. He also expressed his sympathies with the victims' families and wished for early recovery of the injured.

It was the first time ISIS has claimed an attack on a church in Pakistan, though Muslim extremists have claimed church attacks in the past.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a church in Quetta . "The Quetta church attack targeting our brotherly Christian Pakistanis is an attempt to cloud Christmas celebrations and create religious cleavages", he said according to a tweet by Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor.

Christians make up an estimated 1.6 percent of Pakistan's 200 million people.

THIS is the moment a terrorist yanks up his cloak and reveals his Kalashnikov before unleashing a deadly gun and suicide bomb massacre at a Catholic church in Pakistan.

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