A faction of the Taliban in Pakistan took responsibility for Sunday’s church attack, with the group claiming it was done in retaliation of the United States’ drone attacks on their soil. The United States has attacked Pakistan with drones 141 times since 2011. The Taliban and al-Qaeda cells have been primary targets in these drone attacks.
In the Pakistan capitol of Islamabad, over 600 protestors tried to block a major highway for hours during the city’s rush hour traffic, while over 2000 protestors stood outside of the Pakistani parliament building in protest, shouting for changes and further security for the Christian communities.
In the city of Pashawar, demonstrators took to the streets violently rioting, and trying to block roads. In front of the All Saints Church, protestors also showed up calling for government officials and leaders to help stop the violence against Christians in the country.
Christians demonstrated in towns and cities around Pakistan, including Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Faisalabad, to protest against the violence and demand better protection from the authorities.
Pakistan is the 6th most populous country in the world, with 1.7 million refugees from Afghanistan living within its borders. Christians in Pakistan live in fear, and many hide their religious beliefs. The Christian communities are usually in low income areas, and make up only 2 percent of the population.
On Monday, a bomb blast killed five people north of Quetta. A bomb was placed under a police van, killing two police officers and three civilians. Fox News reports the group stated:
We attacked the police in Baluchistan today to avenge killing of our men by the army in a recent staged encounter
Earlier this year in June, suicide bombers attacked a university bus with 11 women on board. The terrorists then proceeded to assault and attack the hospital where the bomb blasts victims were being treated. The militants held the Quetta medical personnel and patients hostage, until security forces finally took over. The bomb blast left 28 people of the Shia Hazara community dead, and 60 injured. In February, 84 people were killed and 190 injured, after militants exploded a water tank in the town of Hazara near a local market square.