(Agenzia Fides) – “Ambulances and police continue to occupy the city. [More than] 60 people were killed and more than 200 wounded. They were all police officers and young people who were being trained in the military school [police academy]. We are shocked by another act of terrorism aimed at innocent people. The main target is the military”: is what is reported to Agenzia Fides by Fr. Renard Lawrence, missionary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) in Quetta, where in the early hours of this morning there was a major terrorist attack against the Balochistan Police College, located just outside the city. Three suicide bombers broke into the building during the night, two of them blew themselves up, killing students and young people, while the third was stopped.
The school had already been the object of attacks in the past. According to investigators, the terrorists were believed to be from the “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant group” which has bases in Afghanistan. In August 88 people were killed in two attacks in a hospital and in front of the court in Quetta.
Communication intercepts showed the attack was carried out by Al-Alimi faction of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) militant group, IG Frontier Corps (FC) Major General Sher Afgan said.
Separately, the militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the group’s Amaq news agency.
“These attacks are carried out in places where there is less defense and security so as to hit as many innocent victims. It is terrible”, says Fr. Renard. “We strongly condemn the attacks and terrorist violence. Many families suffer for this slaughter of innocents. We entrust them to the Lord, who can console them”, adds Fr. Inayat Gill, OMI, pro Vicar general of Quetta. “I cannot deny that there is a certain fear, but we have learned to live with it. With the grace of God, we are carrying out our mission quite peacefully in this area of the country. The Catholic community (about 35 thousand souls) have settled in the remote areas of this province, but we have easy access to these people and we accompany them in their spiritual and material needs without any obstacle”.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Quetta, in Baluchistan province, runs seven schools attended mostly by Muslims students and carries out social work through Caritas. “These works of the Church are very much appreciated by the population”, he concludes. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/10/2016)
Pray for peace in Pakistan. Pray for the families grieving their loved ones. Pray also for our Pakistani brothers and sisters, living under the constant threat of terrorism, to remain strong in faith and to shine the light and love of Jesus Christ.