On Sunday, September 22, 2013, a suicide attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed at least 78 people on Sunday in one of the deadliest attacks on the Christian minority in Pakistan in years.
The attack occurred as worshipers left All Saints Church in the old quarter of the regional capital, Peshawar, after a service on Sunday morning. Up to 600 people had attended and were leaving to receive free food being distributed on the lawn outside when two explosions ripped through the crowd. “As soon as the service finished and the food was being distributed, all of a sudden we heard one explosion, followed by another,” said a witness.
The 78 people killed, included 34 women and 7 children. Pakistani officials were quoted saying, “Such an attack on women and children is against humanity.” More than 100 people were wounded including 37 children.
Police officials said the two suicide bombers had carried out the attack and each bomber carried six kilograms of explosives.
Earlier this year in Pakistan, a Muslim mob swarmed through a Christian neighborhood and burned 2 churches and more than 100 homes. Christians also frequently find themselves accused of blasphemy under Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws. The attacks are mostly orchestrated by Sunni extremist militant groups, although some have also been claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.