LAHORE (Web Desk) – As many as 14 people, including two policemen, were killed and 77 others wounded when suicide bombers struck outside two churches in Youhanabad area of Lahore on Sunday morning, media reports said.
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The blasts took place outside Saint John’s (Catholic) Church and Christ Church where at least 500 people were busy in Sunday prayers, reports said.
The tragedy angered the Christian community countrywide who took to the streets mourning the loss of lives. In Youhanabad, an enraged mob beat the two suspected youths, police had arrested immediately after the incident, to death. Their bodies were put to fire afterwards.
The enraged protesters also killed two policemen identified as Yawar and Asghar and severely wounded two others.
Earlier, the spokesperson for the Punjab government said police arrested two suspected persons from the crime site. He said a report about the incident has also been called. According to the spokesperson, one church was bombed and at the other came under firing of the attackers.
He appealed to the Christian community to allow the law-enforcement agencies to carry out the investigations, rather than creating problems for them.
DIG Operations Haider Ashraf urged the community to stay calm and let the police do their work. Ashraf confirmed these were two suicide attacks.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan splinter group Jamaat ul Ahrar (TTP-JA) claimed the responsibility for the bombings, according to a private news channel. “We have targeted our real enemies in the heart of the Punjab. It must be taken as a warning by the government,” the spokesperson for the Taliban told media outlets over telephone from an undisclosed location.
Witnesses said the suicide bombers blew themselves up when they were stopped for security checks at the entrance.
Immediately after the blast, rescuers and teams of law enforcement agencies rushed to the site and shifted the injured and dead to the Lahore General Hospital.
“Of the 48 injured, 25 are in serious condition,” said hospital authorities, confirming they received 14 dead.
Fresh reports say another wounded has died while receiving treatment at the Lahore General Hospital, taking the death toll to 15.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and other politicians including Imran Khan, Sirajul Haq and Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attack on the Christian seminaries.