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Young Southern Baptist boy among those injured in blast

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP)–The son of two Southern Baptists working in Pakistan was among those seriously wounded when an unidentified attacker hurled several hand grenades into the Protestant International Church during a March 17 worship service. Five worshippers, including two Americans, were killed and more than 40 were injured.

It was the second attack on a Christian church in Pakistan since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Jeff and Cindy Womble, of Brandon, Fla., were sitting three rows from the back of the church building when the attack occurred. Their 6 1/2 year old son was seated between them when Womble said a man in his early 20s rushed in with two grenades and hurled them toward the middle section.

Womble related his account to the Los Angeles Times during an interview in the emergency room of the Shifa International Hospital.

“I’m not sure he knew what he was doing,” said Womble, 40, who said his ears were still ringing from the blast. He suffered facial cuts and shrapnel wounds in his legs. The attack came in the middle of a sermon on “forgiveness and restoration.

“I grabbed my wife and my 6 1/2-year-old son who was sitting between us, and we hit the floor, and I covered her with my body,” he told the L.A. Times. “The grenade landed seven rows up, and there was a big explosion. My first thought was that maybe I had died. But I was all right. Then I checked my wife, and she was hurt. But I couldn’t find my son. He had been sitting, crying in between us, and he had been blown two rows back. I got him and laid him next to his mother. He had shrapnel wounds to the head. I didn’t know whether he’d been shot, but he was conscious.”

A spokesperson for the American Embassy in Islamabad told Baptist Press the boy was in serious condition. His mother had a broken leg.

The Wombles work with an international humanitarian aid agency. Cindy, 37, works as a nurse and Jeff teaches English as a second language.

    About the Author

  • Todd Starnes