At least 8 dead, 16 injured in blast, gun attack on Quetta church

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From the Express Tribune the Guardian

At least eight people, including a woman, were killed in a blast and 16 others injured at a Catholic church in Quetta city after which law enforcers have been dispatched to the area.

Inital reports say that four terrorists attacked the church located on Quetta’a Zarghoon Road.

Balochistan’s home minister says that apparently the attack targeted the church where prayers of Christian community were being held. Sarfaraz Bugti, the home minister for the south-western Baluchistan province, said hundreds of worshippers were attending services at the church before Christmas…(also)  said that a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance gate of the church when stopped by the security guards while another one managed to get inside.

The Baluchistan police chief, Moazzam Ansari, praised the response of security forces guarding the church, saying the attacker who made it inside was wounded and unable to reach the main building. “Otherwise the loss of lives could have been much higher,” he said. The Quetta police chief, Abdur Razzaq Cheema, said a search was under way for two suspected accomplices who escaped.

Aqil Anjum, who was shot in his right arm, said he heard a blast in the middle of the service, followed by heavy gunfire. “It was chaos. Bullets were hitting people inside the closed hall,” he said.

Dozens of Christians gathered outside a nearby hospital to protest at the lack of security.

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