Quetta Bomb Blast: Terrorists have once again created havoc with a suicide attack, this time on a church located in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta. The bomb explosion has taken the lives of nine people with reports of more casualties.
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Moazzam Jah Ansari, the Provincial police chief said the second attacker was heavily wounded by the security forces and now has succumbed to his injuries. According to him, 16 people were wounded in the attack and said that the suicide attacker blew himself up at the gate of Bethel Memorial Methodist Church, while the second was wounded in an exchange of fire near the gate.
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“We have cleared the immediate area around the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church, and we are now clearing a peripheral area,” Ansari said, speaking to the media at the site of the attack. Witnesses reported a heavy exchange of gunfire in the neighborhood as police worked to clear the area.
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A woman who witnessed the suicide blast said, “people were fleeing to all the corners of the church. I couldn’t understand what was happening, it happened so suddenly,” the women said on condition of anonymity.
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The death toll was confirmed by Waseem Ahmed, a hospital official at the nearby Civil Hospital, where the wounded were taken. More than 400 people were gathered at the church for the service at the time of the attack. Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, has witnessed a number of violent terrorist attacks, and often minorities have become the victims.
Last month, a suicide attack was targetted against paramilitary soldiers convoy where four people were killed and 15 others were wounded. Earlier that month, a senior police official was also killed in a similar attack, while in October at least seven police officials were killed in another roadside bombing.
The Bethel Memorial Church has been the targeted by terrorist previously as well. Security was increased after the last attack on Church, which happened a few years back. The church is located in the city’s high-security zone on Zarghoon Road.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.