Gunmen kill 16 Christians in raid on Pakistan Catholic Church
Masked gunmen shot dead up to 16 Christians at Sunday prayers in an
unprecedented attack in the central Pakistani town of Bahawalpur,
Christians have expressed fears they could become targets if unrest
broke out in Muslim Pakistan over opposition to the US attacks on
neighboring Afghanistan's ruling Muslim Taliban militia.
Six men on three motorcycles rode up to St Dominic's Church and
pulled out AK47 assault rifles from bags, one witness said.
"They were carrying the bags and when they came they took out guns,"
the witness said.
They shot two police guards before entering the packed church firing
Police have been posted at Christian churches since 11 September
attacks on the United States blamed on Saudi-born Osama bin Laden who
is believed to be in Afghanistan.
Christians are about one per cent of Pakistan's 120 million
"Women were among the dead," said a police deputy superintendant.
Dozens of worshippers were wounded, some seriously, he added.
It was the first such attack on Christians in the region, he said.
The area, south of Multan near the Indian border has a history of
strife between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim extremists.
Four gunmen entered the church while two waited outside to shoot
those who managed to flee, he said.
St Dominic's is a Catholic church but a Protestant service was being
held at the time of the attack.
In our Lords Love
From the land were Gospel is prohibited
Please remember us in your prayers
Please pray for the victims
Please pray for the killers