Islamabad, March 17 (IANS): The funeral of the Christians among the 16 people killed in Sunday's attacks on two churches in Pakistan's Lahore city was held on Tuesday morning.
Hundreds of people, including political leaders and police officers, participated in the final rituals of those killed in the attacks in Lahore, Xinhua news agency reported.
A heavy contingent of police was deployed in the area to avoid any further attack and any possible protest.
Besides nine Christians, seven Muslims also were killed and 82 others injured when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance gates of two churches in Lahore, the capital of the country's Punjab province, on Sunday.
Talking to the media, Deputy Inspector General of Police Haider Ashraf said that the two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the main gates of the Roman Catholic Church and the Christ Church, located within a distance of one km in Youhanabad area of Lahore.
Enraged Christians who were praying inside the church snatched two suspects from police custody, beat both of them to death and burnt their bodies.
Hundreds of angry protesters took to the streets in Lahore and other cities of the country on Sunday and Monday to protest the deadly blasts and chanted slogans against the government for not providing adequate security to religious places.
The protesters blocked roads for several hours in major cities of the country and damaged public property and pelted stones at police personnel.
The protests turned violent in Lahore where several people were injured as a result of communal clashes, forcing the authorities to call in the paramilitary force Pakistan Rangers to maintain calm.
The Rangers also held a flag march at the streets of Lahore on Tuesday morning to convey the message of peace to the general public.
The Jammatul Ahrar, an offshoot of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying that Christians were their enemies.
The group's spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan also challenged the government and warned of more such attacks.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and directed the authorities concerned to beef up security of churches, mosques and other religious places across the country.
It was the second major attack on Christians in the country in the last three years.
Earlier in 2013, 80 people were killed and over 100 others injured in twin suicide attacks at the All Saint's Church in the country's northwestern Peshawar city.