Monday, March 28, 2005

Religion of Peace, Part VIII

Pakistani Worshippers Attacked on Easter Sunday

One Christian killed, seven injured in village church shooting.

by Barbara G. Baker

ISTANBUL, March 28 (Compass) -- Armed gunmen attacked Christian worshippers as they emerged from Easter Sunday services in a village church near the southern outskirts of Lahore yesterday, killing one young Christian man and injuring seven other congregants.
Irshad Masih, in his early 20s, died in the church yard from a bullet that struck his head during a half hour of indiscriminate shooting by four attackers. The deceased leaves behind an 18-year-old wife and an infant daughter.
Seven other victims suffering severe gunshot wounds in their legs, abdomen and other parts of their bodies were hospitalized at Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital. Attending doctors declared this morning that all were now off the critical list.
Pastor Riaz Gill of Victory Church International had completed Easter Sunday celebrations and then dismissed his congregation at 10:30 yesterday morning. As the people left the church, located in Khamba village in the Wapda Town Phase II sector of Lahore, four young men started shooting at the worshippers.
According to eyewitnesses at the church, police summoned to the scene initially arrested three of the four suspects, recovering at least one rifle and a pistol. But police later told an investigative team from Lahore’s Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) that they had only arrested two of the accused culprits, claiming that another two suspects, who were minors, had escaped...


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