Lahore: Masked gunmen fire on police at catholic church

March 26, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Masked gunmen fire on police at catholic churchLahore, March 25, 2015: Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday opened fire on policemen guarding a Catholic Church in the southern Pakistani city of Lahore, police officials said.

Asif Khan, a local township police officer, confirmed the attack, which took place outside St Peter’s Catholic Church and High School day.

“Two masked men riding a motorbike fired on policemen, who were deployed outside the church,” Khan told ucanews.com. “Police retaliated, after which the assailants sped away.”

Two passersby were injured in the crossfire but no other injuries were reported, Asif said, adding that police had obtained CCTV footage from the Church and have launched an investigation.

According to local media reports, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed police to submit a report of the incident.

Fr Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, said he was aware of the incident and that no Church or school staff were injured in the attack.

Sardar Mushtaq Gill, a Christian rights activist and lawyer, condemned the attack.

“It is unbelievable how militants fired at the church guards and managed to flee,” said Gill. “We urge the government to beef up security at churches.”

He added that twin suicide bombings by the Pakistani Taliban’s Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction in the Youhanabad neighborhood of Lahore earlier this month had created a sense of fear and insecurity among the Christian minority community.

The bombings, which left 14 dead and more than 70 others inured, also sparked riots in which two men thought to be associated with the bombers were beaten to death — a rare example of violence on the part of Christians in Pakistan.

– ucan

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