Protests against killing of two Christians in Pakistan
Karachi: The leaders of the Christian community have launched a protest against the killing of two Christians near a church by four unidentified gunmen who opened fire at them in Pakistan's Balochistan province, officials said.
Provincial police chief Moazzam Jah Ansari said that a group of Christians had come out of the church yesterday when the four gunmen appeared on two motorcycles from a nearby lane and opened fire on them.
"Two people were killed on the spot while six others were injured and rushed to a hospital," he said.
The deceased have been identified as Azhar Masih and Rohail Masih. They were residents of Essa Nagri which houses a large population of the Christian community.
The attack has been claimed by the Islamic State terror group.
Ansari said that it appeared that the purpose of the attack was to spread panic and fear in the province.
"These terrorists are targeting security forces and now minorities to spread fear and panic because of the ongoing operation against them in the province," he said.
The Christian community staged a protest demonstration against the provincial government and called for the immediate arrest of the attackers. They also urged the government to provide protection to all members of the Christian community in Quetta.
Pakistan has been battling armed groups, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The attacks often target Pakistan's minorities, including Shia Muslims as well as Christians, Hindus and members of the Ahmadiyya sect.
Earlier this month, four members of a Christian family travelling in a rickshaw were killed in a firing incident on Quetta's Shah Zaman road. The Christian family belonged to Punjab Province and had come to Quetta to see relatives.
In December last year, nine people were killed and 30 injured in a suicide attack on the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church on Quetta's Zarghoon Road.
At least two suicide attackers had struck the Bethel Memorial Church while Sunday service was ongoing. There were 400 worshipers inside the church when the assault started.