QUETTA: At least eight persons, including a girl and a woman, died and over 40 others sustained injuries in a suicide attack at Bethel Memorial Methodist Chruch on Zarghoon Raod in the provincial capital on Sunday.
Inspector General of Police Balochistan Moazzam Ansari told media persons that three bombers tried to enter the church. The security personnel deployed at the entrance of the church challenged them.
An exchange of fire took place in which one of the attackers was killed while the second one blew himself up claiming lives of eight persons and injuring dozens of others.
The dead and the injured were shifted the Civil Hospital Quetta. However, an emergency was declared in all hospitals of the city.
According to a Civil Hospital spokesman, Dr Wasim Baig, the dead were identified as Mehk, Akash, Fazal Masih, Jorge Masih, Sultan Masih, Sounf Nadaf, and Madiyah Barkat.
Dr Wasim said about 42 injured were brought the Civil Hospital Quetta, 12 of them were later moved to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in view of their critical condition.
IGP Ansari said the timely action by the security forces had averted a big tragedy as over 400 persons were busy in their prayers in the church at the time of attack. Soon after the attack, personnel of law enforcement agencies reached the site and cordoned of the entire area.
He said the third bomber had escaped and a search operation was still underway in the area for him.
The IGP said security had been across the province in the wake of the church attack.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri, in a statement, strongly condemned the incident and directed the health department officials to provide all medical facilities to the injured.
He said the government would respond with full force and would not allow the terrorists to disturb the peace of the nation. He also expressed grief over the loss of precious lives.
Provincial Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti and Health Minister Rehmat Saleh Baloch also condemned the church attack.—APP