While Islamist terror groups attacked targets in Kenya, Yemen and Iraq over the weekend, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for two suicide bombers killing upwards of 75 Pakistani Christians as they left church services on Sunday, according to Joseph Hettinger, a counterterrorism analyst in New York.
“The double-suicide bombing outside a Catholic church [in Peshawar, Pakistan] has killed about 75 Pakistanis. It’s considered one of the worst attacks on Christians in that predominately Islamic nation,” said Hettinger, a former member of the police intelligence unit.
The two bombers detonated their explosive-laden vests as churchgoers exited All Saints Church on Sunday morning following a Catholic Mass, police reported.
As if police weren’t busy enough dealing with the casualties and the crime scene investigation, they also had to contend with a protest by relatives and friends of the victims who complained about their government’s inability to protect them from radical Muslims such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The Islamist group Jundullah, which is an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, claims the Christian slayings were retaliation for a recent U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attack on Islamists in northwest Pakistan.
Jundullah, or Army of God, is also located in Iran and Uzbekistan.
A preliminary examination of the crime scene pointed to two bombers since that was the number of suicide vests found at the location of the blasts. Besides the 75 deaths, about 125 other Christians were wounded by the blasts, according to media reports.
Terrorist attacks tied to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen left more than 40 police officers and soldiers dead on Friday, according to an Examiner news story.
In addition, another Examiner story reported that Islamic terrorists killed at least 64 and wounded 140 people in Baghdad using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) loaded into automobiles. The attack was attributed to al-Qaeda in Iraq on Saturday.
And in the African nation of Kenya, more than 30 people were killed and upwards of 100 others were wounded when masked gunmen, believed to be members of an Islamic terrorist group known as Al-Shabaab attacked a shopping center in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Saturday. The al-Qaeda-affiliated group also took a number of people, some of them Westerners, hostage.