A Taliban group claims responsibility for the attack
A suicide bombing took place at a church in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing 81 people at the Christian facility.Two men strapped with explosives entered the All Saints Church in Peshawar, detonating the loads and taking dozens of lives.
"A huge blast threw me on the floor and as soon as I regained my senses, a second blast took place and I saw wounded people everywhere," describes 50-year-old survivor Nazir Khan.
"When I got my senses back, I found nothing but smoke, dust, blood and screaming people. [...] I saw severed body parts and blood all around," details witness Nazir John.
Around 120 people have been injured and some are currently in critical condition, USA Today writes.
The attack took place as hundreds were leaving the church in Kohati Gate district. The place of worship offers free rice meals on Sunday on the front lawn.
"After the service ended, people started to come out and the suicide bomber rushed towards them," explains senior police officer, Najeeb Bogvi.
The bombers detonated the explosives almost simultaneously, one outside, on the lawn, and the other one inside the church.
"The suicide bomber tried to attack the people, but when he was stopped by the police, he detonated the bomb. [...] The second blast was carried out inside the church," states police chief Mohammad Ali Babakhel.
The attack on Christians has been claimed by the Islamic militants of The Pakistani Jundullah wing, a Taliban group.
Sky News writes that Christians only represent about 4% of Pakistan's population. The incident paints a picture of political instability in the Asian country.
"This is terrible timing for Prime Minister Sharif. [...] Even before people meet him, [Western leaders] will see him representing a weak government which is under attack," a western diplomat tells CBS News.
"There were warnings of a coming attack. Unfortunately, no one could predict where this attack was going take place," a Pakistani intelligence official comments.