Taliban Islamic radicals have attacked a community of Christians, executing two of them following a rally that protested Muslim graffiti in their neighborhood that ordered them to accept Islam or die, according to an international Christian organization.
The attack in Pakistan follows only by days an expansion of the territory occupied by the Islamic Taliban members.
The report from International Christian Concern said it happened in Taseer Town in Karachi.
The organization, which reaches out to persecuted Christians around the world, said it was told by Asif Stephen, a Christian politician, that the Christians protesting the Islamic slogans say:
“We were protesting peacefully and all of sudden, a few militants
carrying the latest weapons rushed in. Some of the attackers entered
homes and pillaged money and jewelry and abused the women and burned
their properties. The elderly were injured and one child fell to the
ground and died in my friend’s arms.”
ICC said it got reports that Taliban militants went door to door, breaking into Christian homes and dragging the elderly and the women out into the street by their hair.
“The Taliban leaders shouted, ‘You infidels have to convert to Islam or die. Why did you wash up warnings inscribed on walls of church and home doors? How dare you to take out procession against Taliban?'”
The terrorists used clubs, iron rods and whips in their attacks, and set homes on fire, ICC said.
“When two Christians resisted, the militants killed them execution-style directly in front of their families. The identity of those killed has not yet been confirmed,” ICC said.
A report in AsiaNews said seven suspects were arrested in the attack.
“The Pakistani government has created an opening for terrorists to attack Christians indiscriminately by acceding to their demands in the Swat Valley,” said Jeremy Sewall, ICC’s director for advocacy.
“Formerly, Christians in the major cities of Pakistan experienced discrimination, but up till now they had not had to fear threats of forced conversion or execution on a wide scale. This attack is a harbinger of worse to come if the Pakistani government continues to cower in the face of Muslim radicals,” he said.
The Christians had been protesting because on Monday residents of Taseer Town in Karachi awakened to find pro-Taliban messages chalked onto the walls of two churches.
The message included, “Long Live the Taliban,” “Talibanization is our goal” and “Embrace Islam or Prepare to Die.”
The Christians staged a protest to try to attract the attention of local government officials, but they did not respond, leaving the door open to the physical attack and executions, AsiaNews reported.
According to a report in the Christian Post, Taliban members also burned shops and churches, leaving dozens more injured.
On the Chowk website, which is set up for volunteer reporters to document their experiences, a statement described the attack as “well-organized and [with] heavy firearms.”
“More than 100 masked Taliban intruded in Taseer Colony and attacked Christians with heavy machine guns,” the report said. “They [the attackers] said, ‘You infidels have to convert to Islam or die. … How you dare to take out procession against Taliban?”
The report said the Pakistan Christian Congress already was seeking help from the United Nations in New York.