Church condemns deadly attacks

Bombing and shootings kill at least 21 people on independence day reporter, Quetta, Pakistan

August 16, 2011

The Catholic Church has condemned Independence Day attacks which killed at least 21 people. Some 15 people were killed and 23 injured in a blast at a hotel in Dera Allah Yar, about 350 kilometers southwest of Quetta on Sunday. Another six people died the same day amid ongoing violence in Karachi. Baloch Liberation Tigers, a separatist organization, claimed responsibility for the blast and said they would target anyone marking Independence Day. Last week a soldier was killed and three others injured in a rocket attack at a stadium in the Quetta Cantonment area. Father Maqsood Nazir, the former parish priest of The Holy Rosary Church, said they were warned against organizing any patriotic events. “Churches located on main roads were especially cautious. Still we silently prayed for peace and sang a few hymns since it was Sunday”, he said. Karachi, Pakistan's commercial hub, which has been in the grip of ethnic and sectarian killings for years, has seen a sharp increase in the numbers of murders since last month. Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, national director of the Catholic Bishops National Commission for Justice and Peace, said the killings are an attempt to demoralize the nation. “We condemn violence whatever day it is. The extremists targeted innocent people enjoying their Independence Day -- they are trying to make people slaves to their own agendas,” he said. Related Reports Schools to ignore Independence Day