Two suicide bombers attacked a church in the Pakistani city of Quetta, claiming the lives of nine people and wounding more than 50, in the latest attack claimed by Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL' group] in the country.
Sarfraz Bugti, the home minister for the south-western Baluchistan province, said hundreds of worshippers were attending services at the church before Christmas.
He said the attackers clashed with security forces, with one assailant killed at the entrance while the other made it inside.
The Baluchistan police chief, Moazzam Ansari, praised the response of security forces guarding the church, saying the attacker who made it inside was wounded and unable to reach the main building. "Otherwise the loss of lives could have been much higher," he said.
The Quetta police chief, Abdur Razzaq Cheema, said a search was under way for two suspected accomplices who escaped.
Local television showed ambulances and security patrols racing to the scene while women and children were led out of the church's main gate.
Daesh later claimed responsibility through its Amaq news agency, saying two "plungers" from the group had stormed the church, without providing further details.
Wasim Baig, a spokesman for Quetta's main hospital, said three women were among the dead while four women and two children were among 57 wounded.
Pakistan's president and other senior officials condemned the attack.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team