Bombing in Pakistani Christian village kills 7-year-old boy

A bombing attack by alleged Islamists at a Christian village in Chaman, Pakistan, on Dec. 4 has left a 7-year-old boy dead and several other people injured, while causing major damage to nearby homes.

(REUTERS / Drazen Jorgic)An aerial view shows the border-crossing town of Chaman, Pakistan, October 5, 2017.

Local police said Islamist suspects threw a hand grenade at the gate of the Christian community, killing a boy named Lucky Saleem and injuring several others including another child. The latest attack happened merely two days after assailants wearing burkas killed nine individuals and injured 35 others in an attack targeting an agricultural research center in Baluchistan, the Pakistan Christian Post detailed.

"It was a hand grenade which caused the explosion at the colony's gate," police officer Gul Mohammad told Dawn, an English daily. "The blast also smashed windows in nearby homes."

In light of the recent attack in Chaman, British Pakistani Christian Association chairman Wilson Chowdhry denounced what he said was an apparent attempt by the government to suppress the media. He noted that the attack in Baluchistan got significant media coverage, but the news of the death of an innocent Christian boy because of a bombing was allegedly shut out.

In addition, Chowdhry slammed the Pakistani government over its failure to protect Christians against Taliban and other Islamist groups. He said the Christians in the country were now living in fear as Christmas and Easter are the most popular seasons for such attacks.

Meanwhile, local Catholics have started celebrating the Year of the Eucharist in a bid to help believers handle the challenges they encounter. Pakistan Catholic Bishops' Conference president Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad said the celebration served as a source of strength for the suffering Christians, Crux relayed.

Arshad also told the publication that the national opening ceremony of the Year of the Eucharist was held in Karachi, and it will be wrapped up in Lahore. This event runs from Nov. 26, 2017 to Nov. 25, 2018.