QUETTA: Five people were killed, while 16 were injured on Sunday as terrorists attacked the Bethel Memorial Church located on Zarghoon Road.
Inspector General Police (IGP) Balochistan, Moazzam Ansari said 400 people were present inside the church at the time of the attack. “Security forces have cleared the church,” Ansari added.
Gunshots could be heard following a blast in the area as security forces were quick to respond to the attack.
Following the attack, an emergency was imposed in all hospitals across Quetta.
Currently, a rescue operation is underway at the church.
After the explosion was reported, an exchange of fire ensued between terrorists and security personnel. The media personnel were directed to stay away from the site.
The church had organised different programmes all throughout December to mark Christmas, according to its Facebook page. The church was holding a ‘Sunday School Christmas Programme’ at the time of the attack.
‘One terrorist shot dead, another blew himself up’
Home Minister Balochistan Mir Sarfraz Bugti told Geo News that according to initial reports, two suicide bombers stormed the church, one of whom was shot dead at the entrance of the church.
The other suicide bomber blew himself up inside the church, he said, adding that security and rescue personnel were focusing on getting medical aid to the injured as soon as possible.
Bugti said the suicide bombers were also reportedly carrying weapons. FC and police personnel shot one of them dead before he could enter the church.
The minister said around 300-400 people are usually present in the church on Sundays.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal condemned the attack.
He shared on Twitter: “Attack of terrorists on Zarghoon road church in Quetta is condemned. Pakistan’s resolve against terrorism cannot be deterred by these cowardly acts.”