This morning the northern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was the scene of two terrorist attacks. The first, on a Christian colony; the second, on a court. The quick response of the security forces prevented a more serious toll in the neighborhood inhabited by Christians.
Peshawar (AsiaNews) - This morning the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in northern Pakistan, was the scene of two terrorist attacks. The first targeted the Christian Quarter of the Christian Colony Warsak Road, about 20 kilometers from Peshawar, which resulted in the deaths of five people (the four bombers and a security guard).
The second occurred a few hours after the Mardan court, where two suicide bombers blew themselves up have caused carnage: The latest toll speaks of 12 dead and over 50 wounded among lawyers, police and civilians. Speaking to AsiaNews some politicians, activists and Christian leaders expressed their condemnation of the violence against religious minorities in Pakistan, increasingly the object of persecution by Islamic radicals.
The province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and in particular the city of Peshawar, in the past has already been shaken by fierce violence. In December 2014 an affiliate commando of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) broke into the military school, very close to the attack today, resulting in about 150 victims of which the majority children. In January 2016, another massacre, this time at the University of Charsadda, claimed the lives of 21 students.
The bombing this morning was claimed by the Taliban faction Jamaat-ur-Ahrar. The four terrorists tried to storm the Christian quarter, but were blocked by the agents, one of whom died in the clash. The government has cordoned off the area and the military has been deployed for surveillance of schools, hospitals and churches.
Joel Amir Bobby, former MP in the Assembly of the Punjab, expresses a "clear condemnation of the terrorist attack against the Christian colony. It really means that terrorists strike Christians, who are already living in fear and in precarious conditions. We ask that the colony be immediately placed protection and in particular the churches ".
Rojar Randhawa, Caritas Pakistan coordinator, appealed to the government, in order to guarantee "protection against fanatics. The authorities must protect everyone, Christians and Muslims, the violence perpetrated by these sectarian criminals ".
Ata-ur-Rehman Saman, a Christian activist and coordinator of the National Commission for Justice and Peace, believes that the swift response by security, which stopped the four bombers, "for sure will send a clear message to the forces against the state that operate in our country . The terrorists could have caused more damage if security forces had not intervened in time. "