December 17, 2017 by hotminnie
At least five people were killed and 25 injured in a suicide attack on the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church located on Quetta’s Zarghoon Road on Sunday afternoon, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti confirmed. The church is located in the city’s high-security zone. A large contingent of police and Frontier Corps personnel have surrounded the attack site and are conducting a search operation. A bomb disposal team is on standby.
Four suicide attackers struck while church service was ongoing, Bugti said. Initial reports suggested an explosion took place, which was followed by a sustained gunfight.
It later emerged that one of the attackers had detonated a suicide vest inside the church’s premises. Another was shot dead near the church’s entrance by security forces after an intense gunfight, Bugti said. Two of the attackers fled as security forces advanced. “The operation has not yet concluded. We are searching for the remaining terrorists,” he said.
Bugti said the suicide bombers were also reportedly carrying weapons. The minister said around 300-400 people are usually present in the church on Sundays.
The Bethel Memorial Church has been the target of a terrorist attack in the past. Security had been beefed up for the church after the last attack, but had grown lax over time.
Following the attack, an emergency was imposed in all hospitals across Quetta.
On the instructions of the Balochistan CM and Health Ministry, an emergency has been declared in public hospitals of Quetta. “All doctors and paramedics staff shall be vigilant and must use all available resources to give maximum proper health care facilities to the injured ones,” an official statement said.