03/30/2005, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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One killed and six injured after an Easter attack by armed assailants

Lahore (AsiaNews/Agencies) – During the Easter morning service, 4 armed men assailed a church, near Lahore, killing 1 man and injuring 6.

The shooting took place against the Victory Church International, also known as the New Apostolic Church, in the village of Khambay, on Sunday march 27 at 10.00 a.m. (local hour). The four assailants entered the church property, where some childrens were playing, and began shooting. Arshad (Irshad) Masih, who was worshipping inside the church, went outside of the church building to find out what was happening when he was reportedly shot and killed. Six others believers, whose exact names have not yet been verified, also came out from church and were fired upon. The attackers fled, following the shooting.

According to some reports, the attackers are from a same muslim family, who has long time threathened the 150 members congregation to obtain the land that New Apostolic Church and its graveyard has been located on for the last century, which had risen significantly in value.

The congregation was forced to cancel their Good Friday and Saturday night services.

According to an account by the International Christian Concern, the Christian community ask for police protection for their Easter service. But while the church's request was granted and police were stationed at the entrance of the church to prevent such an attack, they had left their posts just prior to the deadly attack.

(Photo: Voice of the Martyrs)

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