According to the Associated Press, Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers blew themselves up near two churches in the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday as worshippers were inside. 14 people were killed, officials said, and it was the latest attack against religious minorities in the increasingly fractured country. Zee News of India reports that more than 80 people were injured.
In the tense aftermath, angry mobs lashed out at people they suspected were behind the attacks, and one person was burned to death, according to the Associated Press.
Christian crowds set fire to cars in a show of defiance in the country’s second largest city and the prime minister’s seat of power.
Life in Pakistan is increasingly riddled with danger for religious minorities, especially Christians. They have been targeted by extremist Sunni Muslim militants who object to their faith.
They are also discriminated against in the wider society where they can often only get menial jobs like garbage collection, and are frequently targets of blasphemy accusations, claims the Associated Press.
Militants appear to be targeting minorities more intensively recently, states the AP. There have been attacks on a string of mosques belonging to members of the Shiite Muslim minority sect. In 2013, twin blasts at a church in Peshawar killed 85 people.
“There will be more of such attacks,” warned Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Taliban faction that claimed responsibility for the assault, in a statement emailed to reporters.