CCTV footage shows gunmen attacking Pakistan church

Two suicide bombers attacked a packed Christian church in Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province, in south-western Pakistan on Sunday (December 17), killing at least nine people and wounding up to 56, officials said.

CCTV footage released by the police showed the attackers, both carrying guns, at the church gates. One climbed over the gate and let the other one into the compound. The footage showed people sitting at tables outside the church running from the scene.

Police guards stationed at the church entrance and on its roof killed one of the bombers but the second attacker detonated his explosives-filled vest outside the prayer hall just after Sunday services began, said Sarfraz Bugti, the provincial home minister.

Baluchistan police chief Moazzam Jah said there were nearly 400 worshippers in the church for the pre-Christmas service. The death toll could have been much higher if the gunmen had forced their way into the sanctuary, he said.

Jah said the venue – Bethel Memorial Methodist Church – was on high alert as Christian places of worship are often targeted by Islamist extremists over the Christmas season.

Islamic State claimed the attack, the group’s Amaq news agency said in an online statement, without providing any evidence for its claim.

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