Two suicide bombers attacked a church in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Sunday, killing nine people and wounding over 50 others, officials said. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister for the southwestern Baluchistan province, said hundreds of worshippers were attending services at the church ahead of Christmas. He said the attackers clashed with security forces, with one assailant killed at the entrance while the other made it inside.
Baluchistan police chief Moazzam Ansari praised the response of security forces guarding the church, saying the attacker who made it inside was wounded and unable to reach the main building. "Otherwise the loss of lives could have been much higher," he told reporters.
Quetta police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said a search is underway for two suspected accomplices who escaped.
The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying two "plungers" from their group had stormed the church, without providing further details.