Pakistan church attack was cowardly – archbishop

A woman mourns next to the coffin of her brother who was killed in a suicide attack at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sept. 22.

CNS PHOTO | FAYAZ AZIZ, REUTERS

A woman mourns next to the coffin of her brother who was killed in a suicide attack at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sept. 22.

September 30, 2013

The president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference called the suicide bomb attack Sept. 22 at All Saints’ Church in Peshawar a “shameful act of cowardice,” adding that all Christian educational institutions in the country would be closed Sept. 23-25 in mourning and protest.

Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi also demanded that the Pakistani government take immediate steps to apprehend those responsible for the attack and to take measures to protect the worship sites of all religious minorities in Pakistan.

The death toll in the bombing had reached 85 by Sept. 23.

Authorities expected it to increase because many of the 150 who were injured were in critical condition.

Police said two suicide bombers, each wearing more than six kg of explosives, detonated themselves following a Sunday service as 600 members of the Protestant church gathered on the church lawn.