PESHAWAR, Pakistan: At least 19 persons were killed while 67 others sustained injuries when a suicide blast took place inside an Imambargah in Hayatabad area of Peshawar on Friday.
The police officials said that the took place inside the Imamia Masjid Imambargah located in the Hayatabad’s phase V area when the Friday prayers were being offered.
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) operations Dr Mian Saeed said that three suicide bombers entered the Imambargah. He said that one of the attackers blew himself up, another was killed by security forces while the third one was arrested in injured condition.
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The eyewitnesses said that one of the attackers who was wearing a suicide vest blew himself up inside the Imambargah when the worshippers tried to snatch the weapons of the attackers while the rest of the attackers began indiscriminate firing.
The dead bodies and injured persons were shifted to the Hayatabad medical complex for medical treatment.
The banned militant group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) reportedly claimed responsibility for the Hayatabad attack, saying that it was carried out in revenge of hanging of Aqeel alias Dr Usman. Dr Usman was hanged in Faisalabad jail in December last year for his involvement in the army’s General Headquarter (GHQ) attack.
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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan accompanied by the provincial Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and the party leader Asad Umar rushed to Hayatabad. However, police stopped Imran Khan and the chief minister from going to blast site.
Meanwhile, President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the PTI Chief Imran Khan and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain condemned the terrorist attack. The prime minister directed the authorities to provide the best medical care to the injured.
The prime minister said that the government is determinant to eliminate terrorism and extremism from the country.
The Muttahida Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), Shia Ulema Council Jaffria Alliance and Imamia Rabita Council also condemned the blast and announced a three-day countrywide mourning over the Hayatabad attack.
Earlier on January 30, at least 60 persons including children were killed while 60 others injured in a blast that ripped through an Imambargah in Shikarpur district of Sindh.
Jundullah, a splinter group of the TTP, had claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack.