AWAR At least 76 people including children were martyred and around 132 others got injured in two different attacks on mosques at Akhurwal village of Darra Adam Khel and Badhaber area of Peshawar on Friday.
According to details, as many as 71 people including children were martyred and around 100 others got injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up during the Friday prayers in a mosque at Akhurwal village of Darra Adam Khel.
Sources said that a 17-year-old suicide bomber entered the crowded Wali Muhammad Khan mosque situated at Akhurwal village and detonated his explosives-filled jacket when most of the worshippers were busy offering Friday prayer. The blast badly damaged one portion of the mosque. The intensity of the blast was so severe that it jolted the surrounding areas.
The blast caused severe fear and panic among the masses. The vehicle of 1122 and Edhi ambulances arrived too late, as it takes at least 45 minuets for a vehicle to reach the spot from Peshawar.
The local rescuers on self-help basis retrieved the dead bodies from the rubble of the mosque and shifted them to District Headquarter Hospital Kohat and Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar. Sources in Lady Reading Hospital informed that around 57 injured persons and 24 bodies were shifted to the hospital. Some 24 dead bodies were also shifted to Darra Adam Khel Hospital. Personnel of the Frontier Corps and security forces rushed towards the site soon after the blast. They cordoned off the area and collected evidence. They also launched search operation in the area, as there were reports that three more suicide bomber had entered the area.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.
This semi-tribal area of Frontier Region Kohat is considered sensitive in connection with terrorist activities, as three major terrorist attacks have already been occurred in Darra Adam Khel.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti visited Lady Reading Hospital and inquired about the health of the injured. He strongly condemned the attack and termed it a barbaric act of terrorism. He said that terrorists were now bent upon killing innocent worshipers inside the mosques after their defeat.
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour strongly condemned the attack. They said that terrorists were targeting innocent people to exert pressure on the Government but they would fail in their evil designs.
Reuters adds: Now the death toll is 66. It may rise further because several injured are in critical condition, Shahid Ullah, a senior provincial government official, told Reuters. He said 80 people were wounded. About 300 people had gathered just after prayers when the bomber walked into the Wali Mosques main hall and detonated himself, according to witnesses.
I had just finished the prayers when there was a big explosion. It was very terrifying. I dont know what happened later. I just fell down, 15-year-old Mohib Ullah said. He said guards at the mosque gates tried to stop the bomber but he managed to get in.
Officials at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar said two children were among the dead. Video from outside the hospital showed screaming women, white-bearded old men in blood-stained clothes and a child being wheeled into the emergency room.
Officials said the mosque was owned by a pro-government tribal elder who could be the target of the attack but it was not clear whether he was hit.
In the second incident, at least five worshippers were killed and 32 others injured when terrorists hurled three hands grenades in Suleman Khail Mosque of Badhaber in the outskirt of Peshawar on Friday evening.
Police sources and eyewitnesses said that three militants first entered the mosque and then hurled three hand grenades on the worshipers who were performing 'Isha Prayer at 7:00 pm. Local people said that more than 60 persons were offering prayer in Suleman Khail Mosque, when terrorist entered the mosque and threw hand grenades.
A portion of the mosque was badly damaged as a result of the blasts, while bloodstains and body parts lying in scattered condition were visible after the attack. The windowpanes of the mosque and nearby house were smashed to ground due the intensity of the consecutive hand grenade blasts. The latest series of terrorism especially attacks on mosques have triggered a new wave of fear and panic among the already scared victim of terrorism.
The attacks resulted martyrdom of five persons including prayer leader. Soon after the attack rescue teams and Edhi ambulances rushed toward the site and contributed in the rescue activities. The injured persons were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital where emergency was imposed soon after the tragic incident.
Police and personnel of bomb disposal squad also rushed toward the blast site and cordoned off the areas. Talking to media persons Senior Superintendent of Police Peshawar Ijaz Khan said that three hand grenades have been hurled to a mosque when the worshipper were at the concluding stage of the 'Isha Prayer.
Talking to journalists Senior Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bashir Ahmad Bilour strongly condemned the brutal act of terrorism and said that terrorists came on inhuman acts as they are now targeting secret places and innocent people. He said peace could not be restored when there is no peace in Afghanistan.