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Nine Killed, 56 Injured in Blast Targeting Church in Quetta

Quetta (December 17, 2017): At least nine people were killed and 59 sustained injuries in a blast that targeted a church located near Imdad Chowk on Quetta’s Zarghoon Road.

According to the details, at least nine people were killed and two critically injured in a gun and bomb attack on the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church on Quetta’s Zarghoon Road on Sunday afternoon.

All casualties were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta. Hospital sources said they received eight bodies and around 59 injured, including women and children.

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Police, Frontier Corps personnel, rescue teams and Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) were immediately dispatched to the area. According to reports, the areas has been cordoned off .Bethel Memorial Methodist Church is located in the vicinity where people were present for the Sunday services at the time of blast. An emergency has been imposed in the hospitals of the city.

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti has confirmed that the church was the target of the militants.

Meanwhile, chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq has condemned the blast along Zarghon Road. We condemn spilling of blood no matter it takes place, he added.

Home Minister Sindh Suhail Anwar Sial has also strongly condemned the blast.According to sources the blast took place while the prayer ceremony was underway at the hall of the church.

The church is located in the city’s high-security zone. A large contingent of police and Frontier Corps personnel surrounded the area and conducted a search and clear operation with a bomb disposal team on standby.

Balochistan’s police chief said two suicide attackers struck while church service was ongoing. There were 400 worshipers inside the church when it came under attack.

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However, police assigned to the church’s security reacted in a timely manner and prevented a much larger tragedy, IG Ansari claimed.

One of the attackers was reported to have detonated his suicide vest near the church’s main door. Another was shot dead near the church’s entrance by security forces after an intense gunfight, the police chief said.

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, which occurred a few years ago.

This is a developing story and will be updated shortly.

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