Peshawar: A powerful bomb has exploded inside a Shiite muslim mosque in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, killing more than 30 worshippers and wounding dozens more, many of them critically, police said.
The blast in the Kocha Risaldar area of Peshawar — around 190 kilometres (120 miles) west of the capital Islamabad — happened moments before Friday prayers, witnesses said.
As per news reports, at least 50 others were injured when a bomb ripped through a crowded Shiite muslim mosque during the Friday congregation in this northwestern Pakistani city, officials said. Officials also added that the condition of 10 injured is stated to be critical. A rescue official said the blast occurred at a Jamia mosque in Qissa Khwani bazaar area in Peshawar when the worshippers were offering Friday prayers. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.
“I saw a man firing at two policemen before he entered the mosque. Seconds later I heard a big bang,” said Zahid Khan.
It comes on the first day of a cricket Test match in Rawalpindi between Pakistan and Australia, who haven’t toured the country in nearly a quarter of a century because of security concerns.
“We are in a state of emergency and the injured are being shifted to the hospital. We are investigating the nature of the blast but it seemed to a suicide attack,” police officer Mohammad Sajjad Khan said.
Asim Khan, media manager of Lady Reading, said 30 bodies had been brought to the hospital so far, according to sources. Officials said the condition of 10 injured is stated to be critical.
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As footages emerge from the mosque area, a large contingent of security teams can be seen cordoning off the area.
Shayan Haider, a witness, had been preparing to enter the mosque when the powerful explosion threw him to the street.
“I opened my eyes and there was dust and bodies everywhere,” witness Shayan Haider told sources.
At the Lady Reading Hospital Emergency department, there was chaos as doctors struggled to move the many wounded into operating theatres.
Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the attack on the imambargah and directed for immediate medical aid to the victims, the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) said in a statement.