UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the terrorist attacks on two Christian churches in Lahore during morning services, and called on the Pakistani government to protect religious minorities.

"The Secretary-General notes with grave concern that the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attacks while threatening to carry out more such acts in the future," a statement read out by UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq at the regular noon briefing said.

"He (the UN chief) calls on the Government of Pakistan to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice and to do its utmost to prevent attacks against places of worship and protect religious minorities," the statement said.  

"The Secretary-General extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and the people of Pakistan."