50 dead in Lahore terror bombing: The Church of England Newspaper, July 9, 2010 p 6 July 15, 2010Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Pakistan, Terrorism.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper
Church leaders in Pakistan have denounced the terror attack on a Lahore Sufi shrine that killed 50 and wounded over 200 people.
While no group has so far claimed responsibility for the triple suicide bombing, security analysts believe the attack was launched by Muslim hardliners to terrorize moderate Muslims.
On July 1 two men, whom police believe were in their early twenties, entered Pakistan’s most important Sufi shrine, the Data Ganj Baksh and detonated vests packed with ball bearings, while a third detonated his bomb in the shrine’s courtyard.
Pakistan’s Geo TV reported the first explosion took place at 10:48 pm. Surveillance footage broadcast by Geo TV showed the first attacker entering the main gate with a bag. As he passed through a metal detector, he triggered its alarm. The bomber then ran into the courtyard and set off his charge. The security camera recorded the second attacker entering during the confusion and detonating his charge five minutes later.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan called upon the government to stamp out extremism. “It is a matter of grave concern that despite repeated official claims of breaking the back of terrorists, they retain the ability to launch vicious terrorist attacks across the country almost at will,” the commission said on July 2.
“The assault demonstrates the potency of militant groups that the government incessantly repeats operate from sanctuaries in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan,” the statement said.
“Equally frustrating have been clerics’ stock statement that no Muslim can commit such atrocities. Instead of living in denial, the clerics need to reflect on the reasons for religious extremism in Pakistan and the possible consequences and their own contribution to the promotion of intolerance and the cult of violence,” the Human Rights Commission said.
Bishop Alexander Malik, Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, condemned the bombings saying it “is wrong to target innocent people. We stand united as a nation against terrorism and pray for the victims and their families.”
“Targeting places of worship is pure evil and extremely cruel. The government must step up its efforts to maintain peace; it’s a total disaster here,” the Roman Catholic vicar-general of Lahore, Fr. Andrew Nisar told ucanews.com.
Islamists consider Sufism, a moderate sect of Islam, to be heretical, and have vowed to drive them, along with Christians, Hindus and Ahmadi Muslims, out of Pakistan.