Pakistan: At least 8 killed, over 40 injured in Balochistan church attackhttps://indianexpress.com/article/pakistan/balochistan-church-attack-quetta-bethel-memorial-methodist-church-pakistan-terrorist-attack-suicide-bombing-4986644/

Pakistan: At least 8 killed, over 40 injured in Balochistan church attack

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, confirming the attack, said that had the terrorists succeeded in entering the church, then more than 400 lives would have been at risk.

A man helps an injured woman and a child following an attack on a church in Quetta, Pakistan, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. Two suicide bombers attacked the church when hundreds of worshippers were attending services ahead of Christmas. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

In the latest attack on minority communities in Pakistan, at least eight people and over 40 others were injured after heavily-armed terrorists stormed a church during a Sunday midday service in the restive southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta on Sunday.

At least two suicide bombers were involved in the attack on the Bethel Memorial Church on Zarghoon road in Quetta, said Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti. “One attacker was killed at the gate by police after an intense gunfight while the other wearing suicide vest entered the church and detonated his explosives,” he said.

One of the attackers detonated his suicide vest near the entrance, reports said. While another was shot near the entrance after a protracted gun battle with security forces.

A paramilitary soldier and volunteers rescue an injured women following a suicide attack on a church in Quetta, Pakistan, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. Two suicide bombers attacked the church when hundreds of worshippers were attending services ahead of Christmas. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

Reacting to the incident, Balochistan’s Inspector General Moazzam Ansari said there were 400 worshippers inside the church when it was attacked and added police acted swiftly and averted a much larger tragedy. “It was a coordinated attack,” he said, adding that the security forces have cleared the church.

Giving details on casualties, Dr Wasim Baig of Civil Hospital said that eight people were killed while 44 others injured, including children and women. He said that nine injured are in critical condition.

A police officer shouts as children are rescued following a suicide attack on a church in Quetta, Pakistan, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. Two suicide bombers attacked the church when hundreds of worshippers were attending services ahead of Christmas. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

This was, however, not the first time the church was attacked by terrorists. It was the target of a similar terrorist attack some years ago. Security in and around the church has been tightened ever since.

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As of now, no group has claimed responsibility of the attack. The Bethel Memorial Church has been the target of a terrorist attack in the past.

With PTI inputs