At least 60 people have been killed and 60 injured Sunday when two suicide bombers blew themselves outside and in the courtyard of a church in the northwestern city of Peshawar. "The church was the target of the suicide bombers," Sahibzada Anis, the Commissioner of Peshawar. "I can confirm 56 deaths so far while 60 are injured", he said. However, paramedics at Lady Reading Hospital have confirmed that 60 bodies have arrived at the hospital while 130 are injured, of them many are in life-threatening condition. The dead included four children, six women and two policemen, the hospital confirmed. Eyewitnesses said more bodies are still lying inside the church building, with the death toll expected to rise. According to eyewitness, two suicide bombers blew themselves up near the security barrier of the church where hundreds of Christians were attending the Sunday service. Eyewitnesses told reporters that they have heard two blasts.
The first seemed like a hand grenade attack to baffle the security personnel, while the second was a huge explosion which could be heard within an area of nearly three kilometers.
Security officials later confirmed that both blasts were suicide bombings, one at the gate and the second inside the church courtyard.
"It was a deafening blast," Shamshad Masih, a local Christian who sustained injuries in his back and arms, told Anadolu Agency at Lady Reading Hospital where doctors are struggling to save lives of several badly-injured people.
"I could not initially figure out what had happened," he added.
Masih said he was about to enter the church building when the blast occurred.
"I did not see the suicide bomber as it happened behind my back," he recalled.
"I was tossed in air and fell on the ground," added a panicked Masih, who has lived in the Kohati Gate area, where the church is located, for the past 35 years.
"All I saw was plumes of smoke wafting upward and people running from here to there screaming."