QUETTA - At least eight people were killed and 16 injured in a suicide attack on the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church on Quetta 's Zarghoon Road on Sunday afternoon, Balochistan's Inspector General (IG) Moazzam Ansari and Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said.
All casualties were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta . Hospital sources said they had initially received four bodies and around 20 injured, including women and children. Three of the injured passed away while undergoing treatment for their injuries.
At least two suicide attackers had struck the Bethel Memorial Church while service was ongoing. There were 400 worshipers inside the church when it came under attack, IG Ansari said.
Police assigned to the church's security reacted in a timely manner and averted a much larger tragedy, IG Ansari claimed. Eyewitnesses and provincial lawmaker Aniqa Irfan, who had reached the church soon after the attack, corroborated the claim.
One of the attackers was reported to have detonated his suicide vest near the church's main door after receiving critical injuries. 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. The church is located in the city's high-security zone.