Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
For a ‘religion of peace’, it sure seems to be a violent ideology:
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — 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.
Pakistanis grieved over the coffins of their relatives who were killed in a suicide bomb attack on an old church in the city of Peshawar on Sunday.
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 Azim Ghori, a witness.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who arrived in Peshawar on Sunday evening, said that 78 people had been killed, including 34 women and 7 children. “Such an attack on women and children is against humanity,” he said.Akhtar Ali Shah, the home secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, said that more than 100 people had been wounded. Mr. Khan said that 37 of those were children.
The dead included two Muslim police officers who had been posted outside the church. Witnesses reported scenes of mayhem as rescue workers ferried victims from the church, which was scattered with body parts, shrapnel and bloodied clothing.
On Sunday afternoon, the bodies of 45 victims were placed in coffins and moved to the nearby St. John’s Church, the oldest church in the city. The coffins were placed in the church playground as dozens of grieving relatives and mourners gathered. A large contingent of police officers was deployed outside the church, and mourners were allowed to enter the compound after a thorough security check. Ambulances were allowed to enter the compound one by one as dead bodies were then placed in vehicles to take them to the morgue.
Shafqat Malik, a senior official of the bomb disposal squad, said in an interview that evidence collected from the church confirmed that two suicide bombers had carried out the attack. “Each bomber carried six kilograms of explosives,” he said.
The attack coincided with a broader wave of attacks on religious minorities, including Shiite Muslims this year.
It is readily apparent over the decades of bad press and atrocities, that religion improves no one.
At this juncture, we can only hope for a collective epiphany (yes the irony of the use of that word doesn’t escape me) of the species, so that we can cast down the imaginary friends that psychopaths hide behind.
Till the next post, then.