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Peshawar attack: 4 terrorists and one civillian killed during attack on Christian community in Peshawar

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A poorly designed terror attack was foiled at 07:00 Friday morning (2nd September 2016) at the Christian Colony of Warsak Dam in Peshawar. Four terrorists armed with incendiary devices strapped to their waists and semi automatic guns, entered an empty church at around 6am, in what many believe was a fudged attempt to assassinate Christian worshippers.  The attack was bungled further as they chose a small Christian community of 25 homes, all of whom were dam labourers  employed by WAPDA, and most were asleep at the time of the attack.

Four terrorists and one civilian were killed during a gun-battle with Pakistani security officials.  Military General Asim Bajwa confirmed that the primary targets had been a military cantonment and school, however due to known intelligence they were able to thwart the attack.  The terrorists then opted for the vulnerable Christian community when they went to the church however they found only a security officer who held them at bay till the bullets in his gun ran out.  After they killed him they had intended to blow up Christians in their homes but were met by Security forces who had been alerted to the presence of the terrorists via the fallen Christian security officer.

One bomber got into the house of a Farukh Masih and started to say prayers to allah before exploding his suicide vest. By God's grace when his suicide vest exploded only he was killed. The family of Farukh Masih survived with minor injuries.  Farukh Masih, said:

"I thank God for saving my family and I.  In the few moments we had to think we all just prayed to him for protection. By his power we have all survived and the evil man who tried to take our lives will now answer to him."


Remains of Farukh Masih's house.

Two of the terrorists blew themselves up by using their suicide vests and the other two were shot dead as security teams ensured any carnage was kept to a minimum. Five other persons including two Frontier Corps (FC) personnel, one policeman and two civilian guards have also been injured in the attack. Emergency has been declared at Lady Reading Hospital and other hospitals. Residents of the area have been asked to stay inside their homes.

The Christian Colony is located six to seven kilometers away from the Army Public School in Peshawar where in 2014, a deadly terror attack resulted in 141 deaths, mostly students. The area is also situated near the Pak-Afghan border, which is susceptible to cross-border movement of terrorists. Tehreek-i-Taliban splinter group Jamaat ul Ahrar has a presence in the area and have now claimed responsibility for the attack.

Christian martyr prevented many more deaths!

The terrorist attack seems to have been bungled due to an early commencement at 06:00, when the church was empty barring one Christian security officer. He immediately informed security forces resulting in an emergency response. It is believed the Christian security officer also held the gunmen/bombers at bay with a rifle for as long as he could, before being killed by gunfire.  [Since writing this article we have discovered that Samuel Smith was not a security officer but a civilian who warned the colony security team of the attack and told them to call the Military Liasion.  His quick thinking saved hundreds of Christians. A story was perpetuated by Militray security who did not want to alarm the hysterical Christians with news of his death, so they said Samuel was helping with the defence of the community.]

A nearby military security presence on high alert and poor timing by the attackers meant security forces were able to keep casualties to a bear minimum.

Officials are still sweeping the area for any terrorists that may still be active in the area. Already reports are emerging of similar attacks in other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkwa.

The attack on the Christian Colony comes barely a day after Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa reported on progress made against militants in the country's northwestern region in Operation Zarb-i-Azb which was launched in June 2014.

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

"Though in great fear of another attack Pakistani Christians have praised security forces. The current government have a long way to go but are exhibiting signs of good governance towards minorities. The fact that Christians are so often the target in terrorist plots is starting register and security strategies have improved as a consequence. Even then something has to be done to exterminate both the extremists group and the pervading hatred for minorities amongst the general populace, that together make life for Pakistani Christians and other minorities in Pakistan untenable."

"I hope that the sacrifice made by the Christian security officer will be praised by security forces, in tandem with their own wonderful efforts.  His sacrifice no doubt saved hundreds of civilians from death and injury and leaves people mourning his death and in financial burden.  We will be praying for the family, we be counselling them and the community and hope to provide aid where possible."


Our officer Ishtiaq Aziz informs us that the rapid response by security teams saved the lives of a very vulnerable community, a first for an attack on Christians. He is travelling to Warsak Dam later to meet with the family of the dead civilian to see how we can help.  We have initiated an appeal for the family of the martyred security officer and if you would like to donate please (click here)

This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.

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