Peshawar church bombing
|Peshawar church bombing|
|Part of the War in North-West Pakistan|
|Location||Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan|
|Date||22 September 2013|
|Target||All Saints Church, Peshawar, Pakistani Christians|
|Suicide bombings, Islamic terrorism, mass murder, religious hate crime|
|Assailants||2 suicide bombers|
|Motive||Religious discrimination in Pakistan, Persecution of Christians, War in North-West Pakistan|
On 22 September 2013, a twin suicide bomb attack took place at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 127 people were killed and more than 250 injured.[failed verification] It was the deadliest attack on the Christian minority in the history of Pakistan.[dead link]
The two suicide bombers first shot and killed one of the security guards, injuring the other and then entered the church. Stopped by the police, one of the suicide bombers detonated the bomb. The second bomber entered the church and detonated the bomb inside the church. Another account tells that the suicide bomb blast occurred when the worshippers assembled for a free meal of rice near the front lawn of the church. There were holes in the walls of the church and the windows of nearby buildings were shattered by the intensity of the blasts. Bodies of the attackers were successfully identified and sent for examination. Their suicide vests were made with 6 kilograms (13 lb) of explosives inside.
Perpetrators of the attack
The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan-linked Islamist group Jundallah claimed responsibility for the attack. They said that the attack on Christians and non-Muslims will continue because they are the enemies of Islam and that they will not stop until US drone attacks in Pakistan cease. However, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan denied any involvement in the incident and denied having any links with the perpetrators, saying that their affiliate is Jundul Hafsa, not Jundallah.
Response of Pakistani Christians
Christians residing near the church went to the streets and started protesting by burning tires and shouting slogans. Many shops were shut in the Kohati Gate area, which is home to many other churches. There were protest rallies in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and other cities to condemn the killing. There were also clashes reported in Karachi between angry protestors and police.
Christian communities in Pakistan lamented "the dying future for Christians in Pakistan" given this was another in a series of recent attacks. In March, hundreds of Christians were persecuted by Islamic zealots over allegations of blasphemy against Islam, a crime under Pakistani law.
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