15 killed, 80 injured in twin blasts in Lahore churches

inp 15-39LAHORE:  As many as fifteen people were killed on Sunday and eighty others sustained injuries in twin blasts near Saint John Catholic Church and Christ Church in Youhanabad area of Lahore.

Medical Superintendent (MS) Lahore General Hospital confirmed the deaths. The incident took place when Sunday prayer ceremony was underway in the churches attended by more than 500 people.

According to reports, some unknown miscreants opened fire near one church after which the blast occurred whereas suicide bomber exploded himself outside the second church on being stopped at the gate.

Initial reports suggested that two suicide bombers had tried to enter the gates of two churches but were stopped at the gates by the security guards on which they blew themselves up.

A young child estimated to be 14 years of age and a security guard is among those killed.

Rescue teams reached the scene and rushed the injured to Lahore General Hospital for medical assistance whereas emergency has been declared in all the hospitals of Lahore.

Nabila Ghazanfar, a spokeswoman for the police said that at least one policeman was among the dead, adding that a state of emergency has been imposed in the city’s hospitals as the death toll was expected to rise.

 

Pastor David, a local cleric at the site, said that one blast took place at the entrance of one church where a congregation was going on. Another blast took place in the second church. Two buildings were 500 metres (1,600 feet) apart, he added.

 

Hundreds of Christians took to the streets of the locality to protest against the police and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif criticised the attacks.

Enraged citizens lynched two unknown suspects, claimed to be the companion of suicide bomber, after snatching them from the police and set them on fire.

A massive protest is also underway by the enraged citizens against in-availability of adequate security by the government and security forces whereas the protesters have also completely blocked the Ferozpur road for traffic.

 

Besides this a massive crowd was gathered outside the General Hospital chanting slogans against the Punjab government.

People said that despite of threats from terrorist organizations adequate facility was not provided to the churches and they secured their worship places on their own whereas the protesters have also demanded accountability from the government.

Moreover, the police are trying to control the enormous incited protesters.

Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael reached the scene to negotiate with the protesters but the enraged citizens did not allow him to carry on the talks as a result of which he returned and later visited the General Hospital to console the injured.

Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal s (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman has condemned the suicide attack on the twin churches and vowed their support to the Christian community. Youhanabad is home to more than 100,000 Christian community. DNA

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