Fourteen people were killed and more than 70 injured when two Taliban suicide bombers attacked churches in Pakistan’s Lahore on Sunday, sparking mob violence in which two other suspected militants died.
Up to 4,000 Christians later took to the streets of the eastern city, many armed with clubs as they smashed vehicles and attacked a city bus station in a show of anger by the minority.
The bombings occurred during prayers at two churches located around half a kilometer apart in the city’s Youhanabad neighborhood that is home to more than 100,000 Christians, officials said.
Doctor Mohammad Saeed Sohbin, medical superintendent of the nearby General Hospital, told AFP: “We have received 14 dead bodies and 70 injured,” adding that the figure did not include the suspected militants who were lynched or the bombers.
Zahid Pervez, the top health official in Lahore, confirmed the death toll and told reporters that 78 people were wounded in both attacks.
Broken window panes, blood and shoes were scattered across the blast sites.
Police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar said two policemen guarding the churches were among those killed in the attacks, while two people were beaten to death by protesters who took to the streets after the blasts.
“Policemen on duty at both the entrances tried to stop them but the bombers blew themselves up,” she told AFP.
“The angry mob protesting after the blast beat to death two people whom they suspected of being associates of the attackers.”