In what The New York Times is calling “one of the deadliest on the Christian minority in Pakistan in years,” at least 78 people were killed (including seven children) in a suicide attack on a historic Pakistani Christian Church in Peshawar after services Sunday morning. Witnesses said about 600 people had attended the service at All Saints Church and were leaving to receive a distribution of food in front of the church when two explosions ripped through the crowd. Officials said nearly 100 were injured, and 37 of those were children.
Shafqat Malik, a senior official of the bomb disposal squad, said in an interview that evidence collected from the church confirmed that two suicide bombers had carried out the attack. “Each bomber carried six kilograms of explosives,” he said. The attack coincided with a broader wave of attacks on religious minorities, including Shiite Muslims this year. The attacks are mostly orchestrated by Sunni extremist militant groups, although some have also been claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.