Pakistan holds 12 in attack at church

Associated Press

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistani authorities interrogated 12 Islamic militants Tuesday about a weekend shooting that killed 16 people at a Christian church. "We have reached out for the necks of the culprits," one official said.

Authorities linked the 12 detained men to three Islamic militant groups — all of which have publicly expressed anti-American sentiment since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Superintendent Arif Ikram of Behawalpur, the south-central Pakistani town where the shootings took place, said the 12 were detained during several raids in different areas of Punjab province. He said none had been charged by Tuesday evening.

Ikram would not identify the men. Separately, authorities released composites of three men they say were among the assailants Sunday at St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic Church.

Six gunmen burst into the church during Protestant services of the Church of Pakistan, spraying the congregation with gunfire. Sixteen people were slain — 15 Christians, including the minister, and one Muslim police officer guarding the church. Five wounded worshippers were out of danger Tuesday night, according to Altaf Malik, medical superintendent at the Civil Hospital of Behawalpur.

It was unclear whether the attack was linked to Muslim outrage over U.S.-led airstrikes in neighboring Afghanistan and the Pakistani government’s support of the attacks.

But many of Behawalpur’s Christians suspect a connection, and authorities’ focus on militant groups — along with President Pervez Musharraf’s use of the term "trained terrorists" in condemning the shootings — suggests authorities suspect a link.

The Interior Ministry identified the militant groups linked to the 12 men as Sipah-e-Sahaba, a Sunni Muslim organization with leanings against Shiites, the other main Muslim group; Jaish-e-Mohammad, or Army of Mohammad; and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which is banned in Pakistan and considered more anti-American than the other two.

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

911 received multiple calls reporting a fire at Marie Anne Terrace apartments early Monday morning, Feb. 6, 2023 in Everett, Washington. There were no injuries or fatalities. (Everett Fire Department)
Fire damages Everett apartments, displaces 10

The fire at the Marie Anne Terrace apartments Monday night displaced four families and caused extensive property damage.

A rack with cards bettors can use to choose their own numbers to purchase lottery ticket on a counter at a market. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Been to Auburn lately? That’s where $754M Powerball ticket was sold

This is only the second time a Powerball jackpot has been won in Washington.

Granite Falls
Man shot near Granite Falls; assailants at large

Two suspects fled after shooting a 33-year-old man in a motorhome Tuesday morning, according to police.

Photo by David Welton
A federal grant will help pay for the cost of adding a charging station to the Clinton ferry terminal.
Federal money to help electrify Clinton ferry dock

The Federal Transit Administration awarded state ferries a $4.9 million grant to help electrify the Mukilteo-Clinton route.

Community Transit is leasing a 60-foot articulated BYD battery electric bus this year as an early step in the zero emission planning process. (Community Transit)
Community Transit testing 60-foot electric bus

The agency leased the BYD K11M for $132,000 this year as the first step in its zero-emission planning process.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Amid patient woes, CHC of Snohomish County staffers push for a union

Doctors and nurse practitioners are worried about providers being shut out from clinical decisions, which hurts patient care.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of education.
Public school enrollment still down, even as rural districts grow

Smaller districts in Snohomish County seem to be recovering more quickly — and gaining students — than their urban counterparts.

Exterior of Arlington high school (Arlington High School)
Marysville schools employee accused of raping Arlington High girl

Police said Christopher Carpenter sexually assaulted a teenager he was training while working at the Boys and Girls Club.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Democratic Latinos form a caucus, hospital staffing bill clears a hurdle

It’s Day 31. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Most Read