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Bishop voices grief after bomb blast kills ten worshippers

Bishop Michael D'Rosario, in whose Bangladeshi diocese a bomb explosion killed ten people in a parish church on Sunday, has expressed his reaction of profound shock and grief.

He told the Rome-based Fides news agency: "I have no idea who could be behind such a crime. On behalf of the local Church I firmly condemn this act of terrorism and call for an immediate inquiry. I pray for the victims and their families."

I am confident that my co-workers will know what action to take under the present sad circumstances". Bishop Michael D' Rosario of Khulna diocese, where Baniarchar is situated, was talking to Fides this morning after yesterday's bombing. It was in fact early on Pentecost Sunday that a bomb blast killed 10 people and left 10 injured, one still in serious conditions. Bishop D' Rosario is away in the United States at the moment for pastoral business and medical treatment.

Fr D'Rosario's colleague Fr Jacob Suronjon Biswas said there were about 400 people attending the 7:30 am mass on Sunday.

"The second reading had just ended," he told Fides. "It was about 7.45 when there was a tremendous explosion".

The bomb had been placed inside the church in a bag near a wall, hidden among a pile of books.

Rescue teams removed 10 bodies from the debris and 10 persons with injuries were taken to a nearby district hospital.

It has yet to be ascertained who planted the bomb at the church. Some observers blame Muslim fundamentalist groups. But the local Church, given the excellent relations between the Catholic community and the local Muslim majority, is more inclined to think that the attack was the work of common criminals.

"The people are terrified. Let us hope that it will not be long before they catch the criminals who are terrorising the people" Fr Jacob tells Fides.