An emotional funeral was held today at St Dominic's church in the town of Bahawalpur in Pakistan's Punjab province for members of the Church of Pakistan massacred inside the same church during yesterday's Sunday service.

Unidentified gunmen sprayed bullets on the Protestant congregation just before 9 A.M. local time on October 28 as participants were singing their closing hymn at this Catholic church used by the local Church of Pakistan congregation for its services.

At least sixteen worshippers were killed and many others injured. The church's pastor and a police officer on guard at the church gates were also left dead. The government had posted police security at the request of the Christian community, who felt they needed protection after the start of the United States-led military action against Afghanistan.

"We have been feeling very insecure [after the bombing of Afghanistan began on October 7] and now, our fears have come true," said Church of Pakistan Bishop John Victor Mall of the Multan diocese. "Though the government provided security to us, this shows how vulnerable we are."

Dominican nun Anna Bakshi, a witness to Sunday's shootings, said: "Not a single wall of the church is without bullet marks. Those who ran to the sacristy and hid themselves escaped unhurt."

Bakshi is the Principal of the Dominican convent school adjacent to the Catholic church. She said she was terrified by the gunfire coming from the church. She was one of the first to enter after the shootings.

"Everything was over in five minutes, and I saw four men with beards running away from the church," Bakshi said. "The scene inside the church was heart-breaking with even small children and women lying in pools of blood."

Roman Catholic Bishop Andrew Francis ...

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