Published — Monday 23 September 2013
Last update 23 September 2013 4:52 am
PESHAWAR: A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a 130-year-old church in Pakistan after Sunday Mass, killing at least 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the country.
Explosions struck the historic white-stone All Saints Church in the city of Peshawar as hundreds of parishioners, many of them women and children, streamed out of the building.
“I heard two explosions. People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church,” said one parishioner, who only gave her first name, Margrette.
She said she had not seen her sister since the explosions ripped through the gate area outside the Anglican church.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the death toll of 78 included 34 women and seven children, in remarks televised live from Peshawar. More than 100 were wounded.
The Taleban-linked militant group TTP Jundullah claimed responsibility within hours of the attack.
“They are the enemies of Islam, therefore we target them,” said the group’s spokesman, Ahmed Marwat. “We will continue our attacks on non-Muslims on Pakistani land.”
“The Prime Minister said that terrorists have no religion and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions,” his office said in a statement.