Pakistan to observe 3-day mourning over Church bomb attack

Pakistan is to observe a 3-day nation-wide mourning over the twin suicidal blasts that targeted a Church in northern Pakistani city Peshawar, killing 81 and wounding 120 others.

The twin blasts targeted All Saint’s Church in Peshawar’s Kohati gate area on Sunday were largely condemned by the Christian community across the world. Earlier it was reported that the blasts killed 56 people but on Monday the death toll rose to 81, including women and children, as many victims succumbed to their injuries in hospital.

The Provincial health minister Shaukat Ali Yousufzai confirmed the death toll and told that the provincial government had announced a three-day period of mourning in the state. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, condemned the attack by saying, “Terrorists have no religion and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions.” According to senior police official SSP Operation Najeebullah, the initial reports suggested that the blasts were suicidal that targeted a Church near Kohati gate area of Peshawar when large number of worshippers were coming out of the Church after Sunday service. The blast targeted one of the oldest Church of Peshawar city locally known as Pakistan Church that was jam packed with over 500 worshippers including women and children.

Christians in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and other cities staged protest rallies to condemn the killings and demand state protection for their lives and properties. There are about 200,000 Christians in the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which 70,000 lives in Peshawar. The religious head of Christians, Pope Francis, has led several thousand people in a special prayer for the victims of the church attack in Pakistan. Francis was wrapping up a daylong visit to Sardinia on Sunday when he took the microphone and told throngs of young people about the scale of the attack in Peshawar.

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