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22/09/2013: Pakistan

Peshawar: A terrorist attack at the doorstep of our Brothers home

We had just returned from Mass in our church. The time was about 11:45. I was just taking my soutane off when I heard two loud blasts together, very close to the house. I thought it was in our church. I rushed out and the people were rushing out of the compound. Within minutes boys brought the news that it was inside the neighbouring. All Saints Church, Church of Pakistan, which is just about five minutes walk.

The news that tickled in during the next fifteen minutes, was that two suicide bombers had got passed the Security police, spraying bullets all over and frightening the people who were coming out of the church after the service. Some tried to stop the two men and in the scuffle, the two blew themselves off.

I was going towards the road when a teacher brought the news that one of our ex-teachers, Khalid, whose wife is a teacher in the school, had died on the spot. Bro. Zubair and I visited the family.

Later we went with Fr. Johny Williams, our parish Priest, to the hospital (Lady Reading Hospital), which was receiving and treating the wounded. The hospital was in a mess. Being Sunday, the doctors were at home and had to be called in. There weren't enough doctors. Fortunately, Nurses had come in large numbers and were taking care of the wounded, whose conditions were miserable. Many of those wounded people will never be able to walk. Among them were some of our students, from St. John's and from St. Mary's.  It was pathetic to see some of the little children.

Some families, who had gone to church together had lost all their members. Among them were families of two of our children.  One family lost the father, mother, and two children, and left two little children orphans. These two children who died were some of our best students.  A former pupil of the school, who is sponsoring six of our students, his son and daughter also died on the spot.

Fr. Johny, Bro. Zubair and I spent about four hours visiting every ward and every wounded person, and prayed over them.

It is estimated nearly 90 persons have died, including children and women. Over hundred are wounded, and some of them critically.

They brought the coffins of the dead bodies to our grounds (St. John's) in the evening and had an inter-congregational mass funeral service and the bodies were then removed by families to be buried.

MAY THE SOULS OF THESE INNOCENT PEOPLE REST IN THE PEACE OF CHRIST.

MAY THE BLOOD OF THESE MARTYRS NOT BE SHED IN VAIN! MAY IT ENLIVEN A LONG LASTING PEACE IN PAKISTAN.

Bro. Remy

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