Pakistan killed 16 Christians


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From: (Copy from CTV News)
Date: 10/14/02
Time: 9:54:26 PM
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(Pakistan killed 16 Christians)

From: (Copy from CTV News)


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CTV News StaffUnidentified gunmen burst into a Christian church in Pakistan Sunday, spraying worshippers with bullets and killing at least 16 people, including the church's pastor. Elsewhere in Pakistan, a bomb exploded on a passenger bus killing at least three people.The shooting massacre happened at St.

Dominic's Church in the town of Behawalpur, in Pakistan's Punjab province. Although it is a Catholic church, a Protestant service was being held at the time of the attack.About 70 Christians were gathered for Sunday morning services when six men on three motorcycles rode up and pulled AK47 rifles out of their bags, one witness said.Shouting "Graveyard of Christians -- Pakistan and Afghanistan," and "This is just a start," they raced up to the church and opened fire as guards slept.Police had been posted at Christian churches in Pakistan since the Sept.

11 attacks in the U.S.Four gunmen entered the church chanting "Allah-u-Akbar" (God is Greater) while two waited outside to shoot anyone who tried to flee, a witness said."We are investigating and we will take action against whosoever is involved, no matter what their religion," Senior Superintendent of Police ArifIkram said.

"This is terrorism."Survivors of the attack said worshippers tried to flee while others hid under pews as the unidentified attackers sprayed the building with gunfire."Some of them lied down. Some begged for mercy. They (the gunmen) didn't listen,'' said Ali Shah, who was in the first row of the church when the gunmen first opened fire.At the Civil Hospital of Behawalpur, Dr. Umar Farooq, said four of the dead were children under 12.

A Muslim police officer was also among the dead."They had no mercy for the children. They had no mercy for the women. They could see that small children were being hit by bullets, but they kept firing,'' said Shamoon Masih, 34, who was shot in the leg.Pope John Paul has condemned the attack as evil.

Authorities have not said if the attack was related to the war in Afghanistan.Bombing Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated incident in the southwestern city of Quetta, a bomb exploded on a bus Sunday leaving three people dead, including two soldiers, and wounding 25 others, police said.The bomb appeared to be hidden under a seat and detonated as the bus was passing through a market in a heavily guarded military subdivision.

No other details were immediately available.Several of the wounded were soldiers who were rushed to a military hospital, police said.The area was cordoned off by police and paramilitary troops. No one was allowed to approach the site, witnesses said.Quetta is the provincial capital of southwestern Baluchistan province which borders Afghanistan. In recent weeks, the province has seen violent protests by Islamic militants and Afghan refugees opposing the pro-U.S. policies of the military-led government.