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ICC Note:

Christian leaders in Pakistan have released a statement saying that all of Pakistan is still mourning last week’s attack on a Christian neighborhood in the city of Peshawar. Last Friday, September 2, heavily armed terrorists from the Pakistani Taliban attempted to enter a Christian neighborhood in Peshawar. Before being engaged by security forces, the terrorists killed one Christians, Samuel Masih. Fortunately, security forces were able to hold back the terrorists, who detonated their explosive vests, damaging dozens of houses. Last week’s attack reminded many Christians in Pakistan of the insecurity their community endures. Will Pakistan’s government now take steps to better secure its Christian population? 

9/7/2016 Pakistan (Herald Malaysia Online) – All Pakistan “is in mourning for last-week’s Taliban attack against the Christian colony on Warsak Road near Peshawar,” said Mgr Arshad Joseph, bishop of Faisalabad and president of the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, and Shane Cecil Chaudhry, executive director of the same commission.

Catholic leaders strongly condemn the two terrorist attacks that left a trail of blood in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province: the first one, against the Christian minority, the second, against Mardan courthouse, which killed 13 people and injured 60 others, including lawyers, police and civilians.

On 2 September, at dawn, four terrorists from Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a breakaway Taliban group, attacked a district inhabited by Christians. Samuel Masih, 50, who was on his way to work at a hospital, was killed instantly. The Taliban then became involved in a gun fight with security forces that lasted 40 minutes.

The latter avoided worst consequences by forcing the attackers to seek refuge on rooftops of the government building, which was empty at that time. Eventually, the terrorists triggered the explosive belts they were wearing.

One of the four jumped onto the porch of Farooq Masih’s house, just across from the courthouse. He was inside with his wife and five children.

Farooq told AsiaNews that as soon as he heard the first shots, the family gathered in the back room of the house. “I grabbed my son Suleman who was in the bathroom and locked the door,” he said. “I moved two sofas against the door to block access.”

His quick thinking saved the family because then the terrorists shot up the door.

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