» 02/14/2017, 09.35
Lahore attack death toll rises to 13. The archdiocese closes schools and cathedral
A suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the Punjab Assembly. The attack was claimed by the Jamat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. It is the same extremist group which last year hit a gathering of Christians during the celebrations for Easter. Archbishop prays for the families of the victims and the wounded.
Lahore (AsiaNews) – The death toll from yesterday’s attack on the Punjab Assembly in Lahore, during a rally by 400 pharmacists has risen to 13 people, including six police officers. Another 85 people were seriously injured and are still hospitalized.
Msgr. Sebastian Francis Shaw, archbishop of Lahore, expressed deep sorrow for the victims and prayers for the families, the archdiocese has decided to close eight schools and increase surveillance of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and of the Caritas offices.
Caritas Pakistan operations manager Rojar Randhawa told AsiaNews: “More than eight schools have been closed in the city after yesterday's brutal attack. Two of these were located on mall road, near the targeted site. The gates of Sacred Heart Cathedral and Caritas Pakistan Lahore CPL (located near Punjab assembly) have been closed and security guards have been asked to inquire all visitors". "We were having a meeting when we heard a loud noise outside, it even shook our computers. We started getting phone calls from our families. My five year old son did not stop crying until I returned home".
The blast occurred when a suicide bomber ramed his motorcycle in protestors gathered in front Punjab Assembly. Jamat-ul-Ahrar, an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban having links with ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attack. The same group had attacked an Easter gathering in a park of Lahore last year which killed 70 people injuring 300, mainly Muslims.
"This blast is among the initial chain links of our operation Ghazi (Muslim warrior). We warn the apostate departments of Pakistan that they are on our target in this operation around the country", stated Asad Mansoor the spokesperson of Jamat-ul-Ahrar.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned the blast and directed Punjab Government to reach the site and provide all possible assistance to the injured. "Such cowardly acts cannot deter the resolve of the nation to stand against terrorism and our government is committed to root out this menace," he said.
Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw expressed sorrow for the victims. "With heartfelt and deepest sorrow, on the behalf of Church in Pakistan I sympathize with all the families that lost their relations in this callous and devilish act of terrorism. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, relatives and friends of this act of senseless violence. May God give them fortitude to bear the loss”.
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Survivors of Lahore attack: A sudden flash of light and then flames everywhere
At Jinnah Hospital in Lahore 65 people, including 13 children, are hospitalized in serious condition wounded in the Park attack on Easter Sunday. Kajal is 17 years old and has three serious fractures and four stiches in her right eye: She will never see again and will have difficulty walking, her mother says, "but at least she is here with us". Taj, a 24 year old electrician: "After the explosion they even stole my phone."
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Catholic hospital in Sialkot provides free treatment to tuberculosis patients (Video)
The Bethania Hospital is run by the Archdiocese of Lahore. Physicians also fight stigma associated with the disease through counselling and outreach to locals. Each year, 70,000 people die of TB in Pakistan.
Armed attack on two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore
The terrorists entered during Friday prayers, where 1500 people had gathered, and continue to shoot and fight the police. The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack. The Ahmadis are considered heretics and subject to violence in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Lahore Ahmadi leader calls for more protection. Dead from mosque attacks buried
The sect began the burial ceremony of the 93 victims of the double attack yesterday. The faithful are appealing for the executive to punish the perpetrators of the massacre. The attack claimed by Punjab section of Taliban. Eyewitness: "it was like war."
Two nationalised schools handed back to the Catholic Church
Islamic teachers and groups threaten nation-wide demonstrations. Some consider the decision illegal, calling it an atrocity.
Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future
The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.
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