PESHAWAR: At least 28 people were killed while another 31 injured in a suspected suicide blast inside a local mosque in Mohmand Agency during Friday prayers.
Confirming the incident, assistant political agent told The Express Tribune that the mosque was located in village Payee Khan in Anbar tehsil of the agency. “It was a suicide blast,” the assistant political agent quoted a witness as saying.
“The suicide bomber was in crowded mosque, he shouted
‘Allahu Akbar’, and then there was a huge blast,” Naveed Akbar,
deputy administrator of Mohmand agency said.
A second regional official confirmed the bombing in the village of Payee Khan, in the troubled region of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) bordering Afghanistan.
“Many people were gathered inside the mosque where a suicide bomber blew himself up,” said Shaukat Khan, another official in Fata.
The country’s frontier regions, which are deeply conservative and hard to access due to rough terrain, have long been the sanctuary of fighters from al Qaeda, the Taliban and other extremist groups.
PM condemns attack
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the bombing, saying the government would remain steadfast in their fight against extremists.
“The cowardly attacks by terrorists cannot shatter the government’s resolve to eliminate terrorism from the country,” read a statement from PM’s office.
TTP Jamaatul Ahrar claims responsibility
Meanwhile, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack.
In an emailed statement, TTP JA spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said a suicide bomber targeted the peace committee.
On Thursday, a woman was killed in a hand grenade attack in Lower Mohmand Agency. An official of political administration said unidentified militants lobbed grenades and opened fire at the house of a pro-government tribal elder Malik Nasir Khan in Shah Alam Sali, Michni. As a result, a woman who was inside the house was killed. However, the militants fled the site after retaliatory fire from the neighbouring houses.
Earlier this month, at least 14 people were killed and 52 others injured in a suicide attack at Mardan’s district courts. Six lawyers and two policemen were among the dead. The attacker lobbed a hand grenade at the entrance of the court before exploding himself at the main gate of Mardan district courts, DPO Mardan told The Express Tribune.