Two suicide bombers attacked the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan, on Sunday, killing eight worshippers and injuring more than 40.

Sarfaraz Bugti, the interior minister of Balochistan province in Pakistan confirmed out of the two suicide-bombers only one was able to successfully detonate the explosive attached to his body, while the other one was shot down by the church security guard, CNN reported. 

A website run by Daesh, which is the Arabic acronym of the Islamic State group, put a message shortly after the attack, claiming the responsibility. No official confirmation was released regarding ISIS' claim. 

Moazzam Jah Ansari, the provincial police chief said 400 attendees were praying at the church at the time of the attack. The fatalities were caused by the blast and the intense gunfire that followed the initial explosion. The victims were transported to the Quetta Civil Hospital.

According to Bugti, Pakistani law enforcement agents took 16 minutes to secure the area.

Many government officials in Pakistan have condemned the attack, including Pakistan's Foreign Office, which reiterated the nation’s "resolve against terrorism cannot be deterred by these cowardly acts." Other leaders like Christian MPA Anita Irfan and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also expressed similar sentiments, praising the law enforcement for their swift work.

The church where the attack took place was on high alert, because churches are often targeted by the Islamist extremist groups around the time of Christmas. Nevertheless, Jah said the police regret they could not completely prevent the attack from happening. 

"Security personnel acted swiftly to foil the attack and kill the terrorists. Unfortunately one terrorist blew himself up which resulted in the loss of life," he told the reporters, Reuters reported.

About 2 percent of the Pakistan’s population is Christian. Previous large-scale attacks on Christians in Pakistan include suicide attack in Lahore that killed at least 14 people in March 2015 and similar attacks on a church in Peshawar that killed more than 80 people in 2013. This is the fifth attack in Quetta this year.

Balochistan has long been home to insurgent groups fighting against the government, demanding to be allowed a greater share of the state’s mineral resources. 

The Taliban, Sunni Islamist militants and sectarian groups linked to al Qaeda and the ISIS continue to operate out of the state, despite several military offensives, over the last decade, against these groups.