ISLAMABAD - At least five people were killed Friday, including four insurgents, in an attack against a neighborhood of the Christian minority in Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan, according to officials.
"Terrorist attacked Christian Colony Warsak Road, Peshawar. Sec forces promptly responded, all 4 suicide bombers killed. Search in progress," said Asim Bajwal, Director General of the army's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in an official tweet.
Peshawar police spokesman Mohamed Usman told EFE that a Christian person had also died in the attack, and one security guard was wounded, although the spokesman cited three dead attackers.
According to Usman, the attack began at 6am local time (3am GMT) when a group of insurgents wearing explosive vests entered the neighborhood, hurled two grenades at an church and engaged in a shootout with the police and the army that lasted over an hour.
Images broadcast by local television channels showed a large number of police officers patrolling Peshawar and helicopters flying above the city.
No insurgent group has claimed the attack so far.
Pakistan's Christian minority population, comprising less than 4 million people in a country of almost 200 million, endures longstanding discrimination and has been frequently targeted by attacks over the years.
In March, 71 people were killed in a suicide attack in a park in the eastern city of Lahore.
Pakistani Taliban group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar had claimed responsibility for that attack and said it was directed against Christians who were celebrating Easter.
Friday's attack comes less than a month after another suicide attack in Quetta claimed the lives of 71 people and wounded another 128.