» 09/22/2013, 00.00
Peshawar , two suicide bombers attack Protestant church : over one hundred dead and 130 injured
Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the end of Sunday service . 700 people present at the time of the massacre in All Saints Church , a symbolic place for integration between Christians and Muslims. The Taliban and government attempt at dialogue drowns in the blood of innocent victims. Paul Bhatti : "government excludes minorities " in building the country .
(AsiaNews) - Over one hundred people have been killed and 130 people injured in
a suicide attack outside a Protestant church in Peshawar, capital of the
province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , in northern Pakistan . According
to preliminary reports two suicide bombers blew themselves up this morning close
to the Christian place of worship, as faithful were leaving the building after
attending the Sunday service . Local
sources said that the double explosion also caused damage to the surrounding
buildings. Between 600 and 700 people were present at the time of the attack. The
victims included several women and children , a portion of injured were
admitted to Lady Reading Hospital , but the number is too high and were also
alerted other medical facilities in the country.
Bhatti , former Minister for National Harmony and president of APMA ( All
Pakistan Minorities Alliance ) rushed to the site to see firsthand the
conditions of the wounded and try to spread calm. "More
than a hundred people were killed - Paul Bhatti confirmed to AsiaNews - there
are many injured in very serious condition ... we expect a greater number of
former minister pointed the finger at "terrorists who seek to affect not
only Christians, but all Pakistan as seen days ago with the murder of an army
general. The religious element - he added - is not predominant, but the political aspect is more
does not spare criticism of the provincial government and the central executive
in Islamabad , the first for failing to " properly protect" a
building included in the "red zone and high-risk". The government of
Prime Minister Sharif is involved in peace talks "
and is not involving religious minorities, relegating them to the margins
are victims of this violence - he concludes - and among Christians there is anger
and resentment. Tomorrow with members of APMA will make a large peaceful
protest in Islamabad ."
terrorists - attributable to Islamic extremist movements, although so far there
are no official claims - hit the symbolic place if worship with more than eight
kilograms of explosives. The
All Saints Church , in fact, was built in 1883 inspired by the structures of
the mosques , it is facing Mecca and is a landmark building for its attempt to
promote peace, harmony and peaceful co-existence between the Muslim majority and
the Christian minority in Pakistan.
is located in a sensitive area of the city, Kohati Gate, where there are also
three other churches and several Muslim places of worship . The
city of Peshawar has declared three days of mourning; condemnation was
expressed by President Himari Hussain , Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif , the Pti leader
Imran Khan and the main political and religious leaders Pakistanis. Many
- including imams and Islamic spiritual leaders - have used social networks to
express their condolences, for a "targeted and cowardly" attack which,
again, has targeted innocent victims.
former ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman , who led a tough battle
against Islamic extremism in the past , has appealed to the government to
" put an end to peace talks " initiated in recent days with the
Taliban and extremist groups. The
new government in Islamabad had in fact announced the intention to enter into
negotiations with the Islamist fringe, which, in turn and in a short time, responded
with bombs and deaths.
a population of over 180 million people (97 per cent Muslim), Pakistan is the
sixth most populous country in the world and the second Muslim nation after
Indonesia. Just under 80 per cent are Sunni Muslim, and 20 per cent are Shia. Hindus
are around 1.85 per cent; Christians are 1.6 per cent and Sikhs 0.04 per cent.
Violence against ethnic or religious minorities is commonplace across the
Christians a favorite target for Islamic fundamentalists. There
have been dozens of incidents of violence, including targeted attacks against
entire communities - Gojra in 2009 or Joseph Colony Lahore in March last year -
or abuses against individuals, often perpetrated under the pretext of blasphemy
laws that end up hitting innocent victims ( the case of
the Christian minor Rimsha Masih ) . ( DS )
27/09/2016 13:44:00 PAKISTAN
Peshawar: three years after the Protestant church massacre, some still struggle to survive
On 22 September, prayers were held at All Saints Church for the Taliban’s victims. Some of the injured still require hospital treatment. On Saturday, a Mass was held in St John Vianney Church. Arif Aqeel was left paralysed and mute by the blasts.
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The President of the Catholic Bishops speaks of "shameful and cowardly" act. Bishop Coutts calls for " special prayers " for the victims and their families , and appeals to Christians "for calm and peace." Muslim leader expresses closeness "to our Christian brothers and sisters ." Protests across the country against the massacre , claimed by an Islamist group .
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Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), condemns the attack against the Protestant church in Pakistan. "The murder of the faithful and innocent children - he says - is a cowardly act. We are worried about the violent contempt of Islamic extremists. "
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