Bomb attacks kill 14 at churches in Pakistan

Bombs outside two churches in Lahore killed 14 people and wounded nearly 80 during Sunday services, and witnesses said quick action by a security guard prevented many more deaths.

A Pakistani Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility.

Many Christians, who make up less than 2% of Pakistan’s population of more than 180m, accuse the government of doing little to protect them, saying politicians are quick to offer condolences after an attack but slow to improve security.

Yesterday’s blasts occurred minutes apart in a majority Christian suburb of the eastern city. Police said it seemed two churches were targeted, one Catholic and one Protestant, that are very close to each other.

After the explosions, enraged residents protested and lynched two suspects, police said.

“I was sitting at a shop near the church when a blast jolted the area. I rushed toward the spot and saw the security guard scuffle with a man who was trying to enter the church. After failing, he blew himself up,” said witness Amir Masih.

The guard died as well, he said. It was not clear if the first blast was also triggered by a suicide bomber.

Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility.

Reuters


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