Suicide bomb attacks on two biggest churches of Youhanabad, Lahore

On March 15, 2015 at about 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. there were two brutal attacks of militant terrorist on Christ Church Youhana Abad and St. John’s Catholic Church Youhana  Abad Lahore, Pakistan. Over 2000 people were present in both Churches for Sunday services. There was no security arrangements provided by the local government, only two police men were on duty near the Christ Church Youhana Abad but they were busy to watching cricket match on television in a nearest shop. When there was suicide bombers tried to enter in Churches and blasted.

UntitledAccording to the information the first attack occurred on the main gate of Catholic Church and same time second attack occurred on the Christ Church Youhana Abad Lahore. Catholic Church has 12 security guards they were from the community including  women and men. The women who were performing their duties as security just went to inside the church to collect the thanks giving when a suicide attacker forcibly tried to enter inside the church but a young boy namely Akash Bashir from the security stopped him to enter inside the church. Same time two other attackers started to make aerial firing and during this, the suicide attacker said to Akash that he has a bomb with him even then tried to stop him.

Untitled1Akash did not afraid off and he griped him tightly and suicide bomb attacker blasted himself. Under this blast the security members who were present at the spot were also died and their parts of body scattered in the air. When the people inside the church heard the noise of the blast they immediately stop mass and distracted. At the same time the second blast occurred near the gate of Christ Church Youhana Abad when the suicide attacker tried to entre inside the church the security members of Christ Church stopped him to enter inside the church during this he succeeded to blast himself. The security guards rescued many people who were present inside the church but unfortunately they were affected under this attack. A Christian Zahid Yousaf alias Goga was present at the church gate who was ex- president of Youhanabad trade Union sustained severe injuries later died in the hospital. The people who were present near the church got injured badly. Suddenly people of locality were Untitled2gathered there and they caught two terrorists while they were making aerial firing tried to escape from the place of occurrence. Before they were handed over to the police custody, the mob of the Christian community beat them brutally and burnt them after their death. The news was spread in the area through people and media as well. Police officials and rescue teams reached at the place of occurrence to further save the people. More than 100 people were injured and admitted in General Hospital Lahore for medical first aid treatment.

Untitled3Mr. Joseph Francis heard the noise of blast and immediately rushed towards the place of occurrence as the CLAAS office is situated near the place of occurrence opposite Youhana Abad and when Mr. Francis reached near the Christ Church Youhana Abad where he rescued the injured people and during this suddenly he sustained severe injury on his mouth and became unconscious. He was shifted to General hospital through rescue 1122. CLAAS team also visited the General hospital to see the injured and reached at the place of occurrence. After the first aid treatment Mr. Joseph Francis along with CLAAS team (whole staff) visited the effected families and area in injured condition.

Untitled4The effected people protested against the local government since last two days and demanding justice. Political leaders of the Christian community are also visiting the place of occurrence for condolence of the effected families. The Catholic Church leadership and clergy are playing very active  roll. Fr. Francis Gulzar (Parish Priest) is a brave man who generates the Christian community in a good way. All church leaders from Lahore and other locality or cities gathered at Catholic Church Youhana  Abad  to  show  the  solidarity with the community with the massage to remain peaceful upon the sad demised  of innocent Christian. The people of the Christian community also gathered in a one plate farm and feeling aggrieved on this brutal incident. It is important to note here that the sense of insecurity has been created in Christian community all over the Pakistan.

Untitled5The attitude of the local government is condemnable because no one came to visit at Youhana Abad for solace. On the other hand the people who were injured was admitted in the hospital got severe injuries and they stated that the medical treatment was not properly provided by the hospital and the local government has also not showing its interest to provide free medical treatment. During the survey at General hospital 19 to 20 people died due to severe injuries. Today on March 16, 2015 Zahid alia Goga’s dead body handed over to his family and he was buried in Christian graveyard Youhnan Abad whereas the funeral ceremony of reaming 15 dead bodies will be held on March 17, 2015 at about 11:00 am in Youhana Abad. Today three dead bodies have been sent to Sahiwal for buried.

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UntitledOn March  16, 2015 in the evening the situation became worst for the Christian community because the Muslim community were also gathered in front of Youhanb Abad and raised the slogan of Allah hu Akbar and made aerial firing to harass the Christian community of  Youhana Abad. Some Muslims extremist threw stones on Bethniya Church Youhana Abad. The police officials fired the shell of tear gas on the protesters. The Rangers troops have been called by the government to hold the situation.

Funeral ceremony of Martyred

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Untitled2On March 17, 2015 funeral ceremony of 10 martyred of Youhana Abad offered in St. John’s Girls High School Youhana Abad Lahore. Catholic Bishop of Lahore, Most. Rev. Mr. Sebastian Francis Shaw, Bishop of Faisalabad Most. Rev. Joseph Arshad and Bishop of Lahore Rt. Rev. Irfan Jamel Church of Pakistan lead the funeral  ceremony. Father Gulzar Francis,  Father Nadeem Francis and a large numbers of Catholic father sisters and brothers were present for mass. Many other Pastors belonging to different congregations, political leaders and more than 10,000/ people from the Christian community were also present over there during the funeral ceremony. There were well arrangements of security by the Government more than 5000 police officials including Pakistan Ranger and Alite Force were deputed for the face any misshape at Youhanaabad, Lahore. Rescue teams and other vital, like ambulances and bomb disposal teams were also available. CLAAS team with Mr. Joseph Francis also joined the funeral for condolence of deceased’s families. After funeral ceremony buried them in Christian graveyard Youhana Abad, Lahore

Reported By:

CLAAS Pakistan