Damaged vehicles are seen at the blast site in southwest Pakistan's Quetta, on Dec. 17, 2017. At least eight people were killed and 44 others injured in a suicide attack at a church in Pakistan's southwest provincial capital of Quetta on Sunday, hospital sources told Xinhua. (Xinhua/Irfan)
ISLAMABAD, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- At least eight people were killed and 44 others injured in a suicide attack at a church in Pakistan's southwest provincial capital of Quetta on Sunday, hospital sources told Xinhua.
Waseem Baig, spokesperson for a civic hospital, told Xinhua through telephone that eight people were killed and 44 others injured in the suicidal blast in Quetta.
Local reports said that the death toll may further rise as nine were in critical conditions, and that about 10 to 15 kg of explosives were used in the attack.
Interior Minister of the country's southwest Balochistan Province Sarfraz Bugti said that a group of four terrorists attacked the bethel memorial methodist church located at the Zarghoon Road area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.
Bugti said one of the suicide bombers was shot dead by police guards at the main entrance of the church before he could detonate his explosives vest while the second one blew himself up outside of the church wall after he got injured in police firing, and that no attacker could enter the church premises.
Earlier, Bugti said that one of the attackers managed to enter the church and blew himself up.
Following the retaliatory fire from police, two of the attackers managed to run away from the site, the interior minister said, adding that the forces have cleared the church and are conducting clearance operation in nearby areas.
At the time of attack around 500 people were offering their prayers in the church.
A state of emergency has been declared in all the hospitals of the city. Following the attack, rescue teams, security forces and police rushed to the site and shifted the bodies and injured to the hospitals.
A high security alert has been declared in the Quetta district.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Abdul Razzaq said that if security forces had not acted in a timely manner, the number of causalities could have been more, and that it was a successful operation.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack and directed the authorities concerned to provide the best available medical treatment to the wounded people.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.