Balochistan: 8 killed, 44 injured as terrorists storm Church in Quetta
Gunmen attacked a Catholic church during Sunday mass at Quetta in Balochistan killing eight people and injuring 44 injured.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Government sources said at least 20 injured as of now and fears a hostage situation.
Emergency has been declared in local hospitals. Around four gunmen are believed to be on a suicide mission.
Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said that at least two suicide bombers were involved in the attack on church. "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.
Bugti said that the terrorists had weapons and it seems they wanted to take hostages inside the church.
"The security forces foiled their plan," he added.
Balochistan's Inspector General Moazzam Ansari said there were 400 worshippers inside the church when it was attacked.
Ansari said that police assigned to the church's security reacted in a timely manner and averted a much larger tragedy.
"Security forces have cleared the church," he added.
Pakistan Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal condemned the attack, which came a day after Pakistan observed the third anniversary of the Peshawar school attack of 2014 which killed at least 150 people, mostly students.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Muhammad Faisal condemned the terror attack, saying Pakistan's resolve against terrorism cannot be deterred by these cowardly acts of terrorists.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan also strongly condemned the terror attack.
"The govt must ensure special protection for churches as Christmas approaches. My prayers go to the victims' families and for the speedy recovery of the injured," Khan tweeted.
OneIndia News (with agency inputs)