19 dead, 50 hurt in attack on Peshawar Imambargah
KABUL (Pajhwok): As many as 19 persons were killed and over 50 wounded in a gun and bomb attack in Peshawar, the capital city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, on Friday when suicide attackers forced their way inside Imambargah, police and hospital officials said Friday.
Heavy firing was also reported when gunmen entered the Imambargah in the upscale Hayatabad locality, the Pakistan’s dawn.com reports. It said that residents confirmed three explosions took place inside the Imamia Masjid Imambargah during the Friday prayers.
Security and rescue operation teams were dispatched to the area, with forces cordoning off the site for further inspection.
The attack comes two weeks after a suicide bombing at an imambargah in Shikarpur which killed 61 people, the deadliest sectarian incident to hit the country in nearly two years.
Provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani confirmed 19 people have been killed in the attack. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the incident in strongest terms.
Eyewitnesses say the attackers struck when worshippers were near the end of prayers, soon after the final prostration in the prayer. Senior Superintendent of Police, SSP, (operations) Dr. Mian Saeed confirmed 13 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.
Eyewitnesses claim that three more attackers, in addition to the three suicide bombers, had entered the imambargah after climbing the neighbouring Allama Iqbal University wall.
They added the three men may have fled the place of worship after scaling the walls on the backside of the Shia mosque.
SSP operations said that three suicide bombers entered the mosque while only one was able to blow himself up. Another suicide bomber was killed by security forces while the third one was arrested in injured condition.
The militant organisation Jundullah, a splinter group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), had claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack.
The blast on Peshawar's imambargah comes as Pakistan is attempting to implement the National Action Plan to combat and root out terrorism from the country, an initiative that was set in motion after the Dec 16 attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in December 2014.
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