Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers allegedly exploded themselves at two churches in the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday as worshippers were gathered inside, killing 15, including children, and critically wounding at least 70, in the latest attack against religious minorities in the fractured country.
Here is CCTV video of the blast:
Manorama via Shoebat Enraged citizens took to the streets and seized two of the bombing suspects, beat them up and then took one of them and lit him on fire. Here is the video of the beating before the immolation of the terror suspect:
In the tense aftermath, angry mobs lashed out at people they suspected of involvement in the attacks — including one person who was burned to death — and Christian crowds set fire to cars in a show of defiance in the country’s second largest city and the prime minister’s seat of power.
Local television footage showed an angry crowd beating a person they thought was connected to the attack, while others attacked buses in the city. The crowds burned to death one person they believed was involved in the attack and tried to lynch another, said Haider Ashraf, deputy inspector general for Lahore.
Angry protesters trash Lahore following the bombings:
Life in Pakistan is increasingly fraught with danger for religious minorities, especially Christians. They have been targeted by extremist Sunni Muslim militants who object to their faith. They are also discriminated against in the wider society where they can often only get menial jobs like garbage collection, and are frequently targets of blasphemy accusations.
One unidentified witness told Pakistan’s Geo television that the main gate to one of the churches targeted was closed so people were using a smaller gate. “One bomber exploded himself near that gate, that created chaos and during the course there was another blast,” he said.
Two police who were protecting the churches were also killed in the explosions, which he confirmed were caused by suicide bombers.
A spokesman for the Punjab province government condemned the attacks but also said it was unfortunate that the mob had attacked suspects. He said authorities are reinforcing security at the 481 remaining churches across the city.
Militants appear to be targeting minorities more intensively recently, including attacks on a string of mosques belonging to members of the Shiite Muslim minority sect. In 2013, twin blasts at a church in Peshawar killed 85 people.
“There will be more of such attacks,” warned Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Taliban faction that claimed responsibility for the assault, in a statement emailed to reporters.