Tayside and Central Scotland

Grangemouth-based minister mourns family Peshawar victims

A Church of Scotland minister who lost several family members in Sunday's bomb attack on a church in Peshawar has taken part in a memorial service at the Pakistani city's cathedral.

The Reverend Aftab Gohar, of Abbot's Grange Parish Church in Grangemouth, lost his mother, 11-year-old nephew, nine-year-old niece and two cousins.

The death toll in the double suicide bombing was more than 80.

Many other of the Pakistan-born minister's relatives were injured.

Rev Gohar, who has worked in Grangemouth since 2008, recited a prayer for the dead during the service.

Two Islamist militant groups with Taliban links have said they ordered the attack to hit back at US drone strikes.

Rev Gohar said he found out about the bombing as he was preparing for a dedication service for the local Boys' and Girls' Brigade.

'Very shocking'

He travelled to Pakistan on Sunday night after attending the church in Grangemouth.

He said: "On Monday we had three funerals in our house and many members of my family are in hospital.

"My parents were baptised in that church, we were baptised in the church. We loved that church and that's why I went there and participated in a memorial service, arranged by the diocese."

He added: "It's a very big tragedy because my younger brother lost both his children. One was 11 years old and the other nine years old. It is very shocking for us."

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