Tuesday, September 24, 2013

At least 85 killed by two Islamic suicide bombers in Pakistan

Two Islamic suicide bombers outside All Saints Church, an Anglican community, killed at least 85 people and wounded 150 others in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on Sunday, September 22nd:
Police said two suicide bombers, each wearing more than 13 pounds of explosives, detonated themselves following a Sunday service as 600 members of the Protestant church gathered on the church lawn for food distribution.

Jundallah, a group linked to the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in response to U.S. drone strikes, the latest of which Sept. 22 reportedly killed seven people in the tribal area of North Waziristan.

"Until and unless the drone strikes are stopped, we will continue to strike wherever we find an opportunity against non-Muslims," said a Jundallah spokesman [more].
It is possible that number of deceased may reach or exceed 100, according to a report from Aid to the Church in Need, which also provides some additional background:
The explosions struck the church in the Kohati Gate area of Peshawar, just after the morning Communion service had ended.
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (formerly called the North-West Frontier Province), where Islamist extremist groups have a number of strongholds.
Militant group, Tahrik-e-Taliban Jandullah, claimed to have carried out the bombing in retaliation for U.S. drone strikes.
But a statement by Pakistan’s main Taliban group, Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, made it clear that they took no responsibility the church attack [more].
The New York Times discusses Sunday's attack in relation to other attacks which have been occurring in Pakistan where Christians comprise less than 3% of the total population.

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