ICC Note: The Counter Terrorism Department of Balochistan in Pakistan has arrested two individuals involved in the 2017 bombing of Bethel Memorial Methodist Church. In that attack, two suicide bombers attacked the church, killing nine and injuring dozens more. Terrorist attacks on Pakistani Christians and their places of worship have become more common in recent years. This trend started in 2013 when over 100 Christians were killed by suicide bombers at All Saints Church in Peshawar.
06/15/2018 Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) – The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Balochistan has arrested two facilitators of a suicide bombing at a church in Quetta. Balochistan’s Police Chief informed the government of the arrests and briefed about both the facilitators.
The Inspector General of Police Balochistan, Moazzam Jan Ansari, briefed officials of the Federal Government and National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) in Islamabad. Another police official told Dawn News that all the handlers of the church bombings have been arrested and are under investigations. It was revealed that the two suicide bombers were not Pakistanis as their data could not be found with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
Dawn News revealed that police have been receiving information about a militant group that was aiming to attack Bethel Memorial Methodist Church on Zarghoon Road and the Spinney Road Church in Quetta. From the alleged leader of the IS group Quetta, police learned that a female suicide bomber was sent to Quetta in order to carry out the attack on the Bethel memorial church last year. However, due to beefed up security measures, she could not carry out the attack and left Pakistan.
On Sunday, December 17, 2017 two suicide bombers stormed the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church. The church was packed with the congregants at the time of the attack. One of the attackers was gunned down by the guards stationed at the gate and on the roof. The other attacker detonated his vest outside the church’s prayer hall.
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