A bomb attack on a government building Tuesday killed 24 people, including two children at Catholic schools, and damaged the Catholic cathedral and other nearby Catholic buildings in Lahore, Pakistan.
Two students at two different nearby Catholic schools were killed in the blast, which injured more than one hundred people, according to UCA News.
The bomb exploded at 9:30 a.m. outside the multistory offices of the Federal Investigation Agency. It caused serious damage to Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sacred Heart Cathedral School, St. Anthony’s College, St. Paul Communication Center, the Caritas Lahore building, a Catholic press, a nun’s house and a catechists’ house.
Father Morris Jalal, a parish priest among the volunteers assisting at the scene of the attack, told UCA News, "Life has become totally unsafe nowadays." He insisted that "dialogue with the violent groups is the only way out."
Archbishop of Lahore Lawrence Saldanha felt the blast from his room, which overlooks the area of the attack. "These are attempts to destabilize the country," the archbishop said.
Archbishop Saldanha related that he hoped that the new government elected in February would “resolve the issue through dialogue.”
Another bomb attack occurred simultaneously in the Model Town area of the city, injuring several people.
Muslim militants have been targeting government buildings in suicide bomb attacks. Last year, reportedly more than 500 people were killed in similar attacks around the country.