Syrian Orthodox church chief Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II had a narrow escape after a suicide bombing in Qamshi in Syria targeted him on Sunday afternoon. The patriarch was attending the commemoration of the thousands of Christians killed by Ottaman army in 1915, called the `Sayfo' (sword) massacre.
When the security officials of the Patriarch blocked the suicide bomber who tried to enter the commemoration hall, the bomber detonated himself and three security officials died on the spot.
A local force named Sotoro was in charge of the security and as per an AFP report, three Sotoro members were injured, while three died.
As per the report, Patriarch who lead the commemoration was the bomber's. No agencies have yet claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Patriarch Aphrem II is the supreme leader of Syrian churches including Kerala‚Äôs Jacobite church.
Qamshi, situated in the border of Turkey and Syria regularly witnesses suicide bombings, and often orchestrated by the Islamic State jihadist group.
Meanwhile Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has condemned the attack. "I share the concern of all those who love and respect the Patriarch. The incident was unfortunate," CM said in a press release on Monday morning.