Suicide bombers kill 77 at Pakistan church - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Suicide bombers kill 77 at Pakistan church

Posted: Updated:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- A blast at a Protestant church in northwest Pakistan killed 77 people and wounded more than 120, a local official said.

The attack took place at the All Saints Church of Pakistan, in the violence-plagued city of Peshawar, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the country's capital, Islamabad.

Two attackers struck right as services concluded, according to the Peshawar Diocese. "Suicide bombers entered the church compound from the main gate and blew themselves up in the midst of the people," a statement posted on the diocese website read.

Choir members and children attending Sunday school are among the dead, they said.

The outside of the church was peppered with debris, and crowds of men and rescue officials covered in blood.

The Rev Humphrey S. Peters, Bishop of Peshawar, expressed condolences and called for prayers, but also struck a defiant tone. In a statement, Peters condemned the local government, calling the attack a "total failure" of official efforts to protect minorities.

Christians make up less than 3% of the population in the South Asian nation of 193 million.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and in a statement said he was praying for the recovery of those injured. Sharif said terrorists have "no religion" and that targeting innocents is against Islam.

But Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, of which Peshawar is the capital, is rife with Islamic extremists and has been the site of clashes between Pakistani security forces and militants.

Earlier this month, a roadside bomb in the province killed a top Pakistani general, just a day after officials announced plans to withdraw troops from the region and pusue peace talks with Taliban militants.

ATaliban spokesman said then that there is no ceasefire with the Pakistani government, warning that such attacks will continue.

"We have killed them," Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said, "as they are killing us."

  • Youth Group Helps Cleanup Park

    Youth Group Helps Cleanup Park

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:32 AM EDT2014-08-22 04:32:20 GMT
    The Tobacco Prevention Control Coalition held a cleanup at Collier Park. They were there to pickup discarded cigarette butts.More >>
    The Tobacco Prevention Control Coalition held a cleanup at Collier Park. They were there to pickup discarded cigarette butts.More >>
  • Trailer Crashes Into House

    Trailer Crashes Into House

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:24 AM EDT2014-08-22 04:24:32 GMT
    It was quite the scare for one 11-year-old boy Thursday evening after a trailer crashed into the home he was staying in.More >>
    It was quite the scare for one 11-year-old boy Thursday evening after a trailer crashed into the home he was staying in.More >>
  • Proposed Wind Farm Causes Concern

    Proposed Wind Farm Causes Concern

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:19 AM EDT2014-08-22 04:19:27 GMT
    What organizers described as a grass roots meeting aimed at organizing opposition to the placement of a wind farm on the southside of town was held Thursday Night at the Corpus Christi Country Club.More >>
    What organizers described as a grass roots meeting aimed at organizing opposition to the placement of a wind farm on the southside of town was held Thursday Night at the Corpus Christi Country Club.More >>