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Counter Terrorism Department arrests facilitators of Quetta church bombing

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The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Balochistan has arrested two facilitators of a suicide bombing, at a church in Quetta. Balochistan’s Police Chief informed the government about the arrests and briefed about both the facilitators.

Quetta Church attack

The Inspector General of Police Balochistan, Moazzam Jan Ansari briefed the officials of Federal Government and National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) in Islamabad. Another police official told Dawn News that all the handlers of the church bombings have been arrested and are under investigations. It was revealed that the two suicide bombers were not Pakistanis as their data could not be found with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

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Dawn News reveals that police have been receiving information about a militant group that was aiming to attack the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church at Zarghoon Road and the Spinney Road Church in Quetta. After the alleged leader of the IS group Quetta, police learnt that a female suicide bomber was sent to Quetta in order to carry out the attack on the Bethel memorial church last year. However, due to beefed up security measures, she could not carry out the attack and left Pakistan.

On Sunday, December 17, 2017 two suicide bombers stormed the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church. The church was packed with the congregants at the time of the attack, when one of the attackers was gunned down by the guards stationed at the gate and on the roof. The other attacker detonated his vest outside the church’s prayer hall.

The attack claimed at least 9 lives while no less than 56 were wounded. Balochistan Police Chief stated that the death toll could have been much higher if the gunmen would have been successful in entering the church’s prayer hall. After the attack, the terror group Islamic State IS, claimed responsibility for the attack.