by Jamil Bhatti
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Sunday's twin suicide bomb attack at a Christian church in northwest Pakistan that killed 81 people and left over 140 others injured is the one of the worst bomb attacks in the country since the start of the current year.
According to the security officials, the incident took place on Sunday morning in provincial capital of Peshawar when two suicide bombers blew up their explosive-laden jackets inside the church when around 500 to 600 people were leaving the premises after finishing their weekly prayers.
Chief Executive of the Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar told media that the dead people include two policemen, seven children and 34 women, while the injured persons included 44 women and 11 children.
Local media reported that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Jandola group, a fraction of Pakistan Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack that took place at a time when the country's army and political parties were in the process of conducting peace talks with militants.
The government of the northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday changed the police chief of the province after the Christian community launched a countrywide protest against the tragic incident.
This was not the first time when militants' bomb attacks caused a huge loss of human lives in Pakistan. The brief details of the other big attacks across Pakistan since the start of 2013, which jolted the country, are below:
On Aug. 8, a suicide bomber attacked a mosque located in the Police Lines in the southwestern provincial capital of Quetta where hundreds of policemen and civilians were gathering to attend the funeral of their colleague who was shot dead by militants. At least 39 people including 16 policemen and five police officers were killed and 40 others injured in the attack that was later claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.
On July 26, a horrible incident happened when a suicide bomber attacked people near a mosque in the northwestern tribal region of Kurram Agency followed by a remote controlled bomb explosion in the same area, killing 57 and injuring 187 others collectively.
On the last day of month June, a deadly suicide blast ripped through the Shia Muslims dominated Hazara town in Quetta, claiming 30 lives and leaving around 70 others wounded.
During the same month on June 18, a provincial lawmaker lost his life along with 35 others in a suicide attack that targeted a funeral in northwestern Mardan district.
On May 17, two bomb blasts targeted two different crowded mosques during Friday prayer in the northwestern restive region of Malakand Agency and killed 21 worshipers besides injuring 120 others.
On May 6, at least 26 people were killed and 67 others injured when a suicide bomber targeted a political gathering of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), a religion-political party, in the northwestern tribal region of Kurram Agency.
On March 23, when the country was observing the Pakistan Day, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into an army check-post, killing 18 security personnel and two civilians and injuring 25 others.
The militant groups also used suicide bombers against their rival groups to establish their dominion and to capture the areas under the control of their opponents.
On March 19, two suicide bombers targeted a center of Ansar-ul- Islam, a banned militant organization and a rival of Pakistani Taliban, and killed 48 people in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency, a northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
Usually, militant groups conducted most of the attacks in northwestern and southwestern regions of the country but on March 2, at least 50 people were killed and 137 others injured when terrorists carried out a car bomb blast in a residential area in southern port city of Karachi.
One of the worst incidents of the current year came on Feb. 16 when a suicide bomber exploded a water-tanker-bomb carrying some 1, 000 kg explosives in a busy vegetable market of Quetta city and killed 89 besides injuring over 170 others.
In another terrorist attack on Feb. 2, at least 28 people were killed and 40 others injured when a suicide bomber exploded his explosives laden jacket in front of a mosque when people were leaving after offering Friday prayer in northwestern Hangu district.
The worst bomb attack of the year was carried on Jan. 10 when twin blasts, a suicide attack at a snooker club followed by a horrible car bomb blast, killed at least 106 people including nine policemen and 20 rescue workers in Quetta.
On the same day of the month January, a remote controlled bomb rocked in a preaching center of Sunni Muslims in northwest Swat district, killing 31 and injuring 70 others.
According to official and independent statistics, over 1,400 people have been killed and 3,236 injured so far in 443 bomb attacks of different nature across Pakistan during the current year.
78 killed, 146 injured in twin suicide blasts in NW Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- At least 78 people were killed and over 146 others injured when a twin suicide bomb attack hit a Christian church in Pakistan's northwest Peshawar city on Sunday, officials said.
Zaheer-ul-Islam, deputy commissioner of Peshawar, said that the fatal blast killed 78 people and injured 146 others who are being treated at Lady Reading Hospital in the city. Full story
Photos: Vigil ceremony held for victims of Peshawar church blasts
Pakistan condemns U.S. drone strike in South Waziristan
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan on Sunday strongly condemned the U.S. drone strike in the country's tribal region, which killed at least seven people. "The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the U.S. drone strike that took place in South Waziristan on Sept. 22. These unilateral strikes are a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity,"a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Earlier, local media reported that the U.S. spy aircraft fired four missiles on two houses in Shawal area of North Waziristan which borders Afghanistan. Full story