Peshawar:As per a medical officer of the death toll from a suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan has risen to 78.
Sher Ali Khan, a doctor at a hospital in the city of Peshawar where the attack occurred Sunday, says the blast also wounded over 70 people.
Police officer Mohammad Noor Khan says the bomber struck as worshippers were coming out of services at the church in the city’s Kohati Gate district. He said the attacker’s severed legs were found.
Hard-line militants have been blamed for previous attacks on Pakistan’s Christian minority, as well as Muslim groups they consider heretics.
The church is named as the All Saints Church and was opened on St. John’s Day, 27 December 1883. It is located inside the Kohati Gate of the old walled city of Peshawar in Pakistan is an architecturally unique place of worship that bears a striking resemblance to an Islamic saracenic mosque with minarets and a dome.
As per the sources the death toll is expected to increase as more than 500 people were present in the church during the time of the blast.
Death toll rises to 78
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who arrived in Peshawar on Sunday evening, said that 78 people had been killed, including 34 women and 7 children. “Such an attack on women and children is against humanity,” he said.Akhtar Ali Shah, the home secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, said that more than 100 people had been wounded. Mr. Khan said that 37 of those were children.
The dead included two Muslim police officers who had been posted outside the church. Witnesses reported scenes of mayhem as rescue workers ferried victims from the church, which was scattered with body parts, shrapnel and bloodied clothing.
On Sunday afternoon, the bodies of 45 victims were placed in coffins and moved to the nearby St. John’s Church, the oldest church in the city. The coffins were placed in the church playground as dozens of grieving relatives and mourners gathered. A large contingent of police officers was deployed outside the church, and mourners were allowed to enter the compound after a thorough security check. Ambulances were allowed to enter the compound one by one as dead bodies were then placed in vehicles to take them to the morgue.