Tamil Diplomat

Deadly blasts hit Pakistan churches in Lahore

Two bomb blasts have killed at least 14 people near two churches in a Christian neighbourhood of the Pakistani city of Lahore, local officials sayMore than 70 people were hurt in the explosions, which targeted worshippers attending Sunday mass at the churches in the Youhanabad area.

Violent protests erupted after the blasts, with a mob killing two men accused of involvement in the attacks.Pakistan’s Christian community has often been targeted by militants.  An offshoot of the Pakistan Taliban, calling itself Jamatul Ahrar, has said it carried out the attack. Witnesses say suicide bombers were responsible for the explosions but police have not confirmed this.The bombers are said to have detonated their explosives near the gates of St John’s Catholic Church and Christ Church.

A large crowd gathered at the scene of the blasts, protesting about the lack of security.The crowd also attacked two men it accused of involvement in the explosions, killing both of them. Photographs from the scene showed a crowd setting the men’s bodies alight.Protesters carrying sticks blocked Lahore’s Ferozepur Road. Local television pictures showed a bus station being attacked.