Two suicide bombers detonated their explosives outside a historic church in Pakistan on Sunday killing 75 people in the deadliest-ever attack on the country’s Christian minority.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing in the city of Peshawar, saying it would continue to target non-Muslims until the US stopped drone attacks in the country’s remote tribal region.
The attack on All Saints Church also wounded 120 people. The blasts took place as hundreds of worshippers were coming out of the church in the city’s Kohati Gate district after services.
Mourning their loss
“There were blasts and there was hell for all of us,” said Nazir John, who was at the church with at least 400 other worshippers.
“When I got my senses back, I found nothing but smoke, dust, blood and screaming people. I saw severed body parts and blood all around.”
Survivors wailed and hugged each other in the wake of the blasts. The white walls of the church, which first opened in the late 1800s, were pockmarked with holes caused by ball bearings or other metal objects contained in the bombs .
Blood stained the floor and was splashed on the walls.
“This is the deadliest attack against Christians in our country,” said Irfan Jamil, bishop of Lahore.
One of the wounded, John Tariq, who lost his father in the attack, asked, “What have we done wrong to these people? Why are we being killed?”
Ahmad Marwat, who identified himself as the spokesman for the Jundullah wing of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.
“All non-Muslims in Pakistan are our target and they will remain our target as long as America fails to stop drone strikes in our country,” said Marwart.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack in a statement saying, “The terrorists have no religion and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions.”
“Such cruel acts of terrorism reflect the brutality and inhumane mindset of the terrorists,” he said.