Statement by Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Serial Attack Incident on worship places in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
May 31, 2010
- A serial attack incident occurred on the afternoon of May 28 (Fri) when worship places in Model Town area, and Garhi Shahu area of Lahore, Punjab Province in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (approximately 450 kilometers to the southeast of Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan), were attacked at approximately the same time, and a large number of people were killed or injured in its incident. The Government of Japan expresses its shock and anger towards this incident. Japan also hopes that the souls of the departed rest peacefully, expresses its condolences to the bereaved families, and offers its sympathy to those who were injured.
- This incident targeted innocent people, and cannot be forgiven. Terrorism cannot be justified for any reason, and Japan strongly reiterates its firm condemnation of these atrocious acts.
- The Government of Japan expects that the people of Pakistan overcome these hardships as quickly as possible, and intends to cooperate with the international community in order to take a stand against terrorism.
- A serial attack incident occurred on the afternoon of May 28 (Fri) when worship places in Model Town area, and Garhi Shahu area of Lahore, Punjab Province. At the time of the attacks, approximately 1,500 worshippers of the Ahmadiyya faith (an Islamic minority group) were in the midst of Friday worship.
- According to local news sources, the armed groups entered the places of worship and commenced shooting for approximately three and a half hours before they were suppressed by security forces. Approximately eighty people were killed including people affiliated with the police and mass media, and many people sustained causalities. According to reports, a group calling it the Punjab wing of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issued a statement taking responsibility for the crime, but the perpetrators of the crime have not yet been clearly identified.
- Conflicts between different sects have been growing more intense in Pakistan recently. Many attacks on members of the Shia sect have been made by Sunni extremists, including those in Karachi (Sindh Province) in February, and at the camp for internally displaced persons in Kohistan District (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; formerly called the North-West Frontier Province) in April.