The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on a Methodist church Sunday in Pakistan, that left at least eight people dead and 30 others injured.
Two suicide bombers attacked the church on Sunday in Quetta, Pakistan, and following the assault, ISIS’ official news agency claimed responsibility, but did not elaborate with any additional details, The New York Times reports.
The two bombers were stopped right at the doors of the church, then one detonated his vest and the other died in a firefight with a security guard. Had the men entered the sanctuary of the church, the number of casualties could have numbered in the hundreds, as there were about 400 churchgoers in attendance. Two other attackers fled the scene.
Pakistan authorities were quick to condemn the attack.
“Attack of terrorists on Zarghoon road church in Quetta is condemned,” said Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Pakistan’s resolve against terrorism cannot be deterred by these cowardly acts.”
And yet, not everyone is convinced that Pakistani authorities are fully committed to protecting Christians.
“Law enforcement agencies have badly failed in protecting common citizens, and minorities in particular,” Shamaun Alfred Gill, a Christian political activist in Pakistan, told The New York Times.
“December is a month of Christian religious rituals,” Gill said. “We had demanded the government beef up security for churches all over the country. But they have failed to do so.”
Pakistan officials have refused to admit that ISIS exists on any level.
Christians comprise about two percent of Pakistan’s population.
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