A Pakistani bishop has thanked the army chief for rewarding two Muslim security guards who helped foil a Taliban attack on a Christian colony in Peshawar last month.

A Christian cleaner, Samuel Masih, was killed, but two security guards helped fight off four suicide bombers, before the army arrived.

General Raheel Sharif gave 1 million rupees (US$10,000) to each guard in recognition of their bravery, reports UCAN.

“We thank the Chief of Army Staff for honouring those who played an important role in protecting the Christian families,” said Anglican Bishop Earnest Jacob. “Muslim security guards exchanged fire and blocked the suicide bombers for 40 minutes, which gave the army enough time to reach there. We prayed for them in the Sunday service.

“It is a miracle that four suicide bombers killed only one person. Usually when terrorists attack, the guards flee to save their lives. The reward will encourage people on duty.”

However, Bishop Jacob asked for financial compensation for Masih’s widow and the families “whose households and vehicles were damaged”. He said applications had been filed with the provincial government but that “we are still waiting”.

The bishop added that the community is thankful of the extra security measures put in place since the attack; there are now seven security guards at the gate to the colony, while policemen are also stationed on the church roof and outside the pastor’s house.