Army rebuilds mosque blown up by militants

Masjid-e-Shuhada reopens for Friday prayers almost six months after it was destroyed in a suicide bombing.

Mureeb Mohmand March 11, 2017
A view of the Masjid-e-Shuhada in Ambar. PHOTO: EXPRESS

SHABQADAR: The military-funded Masjid-e-Shuhada reopened for Friday prayers almost six months after it was destroyed in a suicide bombing.

Up to 36 people were killed and 36 others injured in the September 2016 blast during Friday prayers.

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In this connection a ceremony was held at Payee Khan village of Ambar tehsil where apart from local victims of the suicide bomb blast, officials of Army Corps of Engineers Lieutenant Colonel Hamid Anwar and Swat Scout’s Lieutenant Colonel Tariq Mehmood were present.

The army rebuilt the mosque in Payee Khan village and renamed it ‘Masjid-e-Shuhada’. The previous mosque was made of mud and clay while the new one is made of concrete bricks, cement and iron rods.

On September 17, the then corps commander of 11 corps announced reconstruction of the destroyed mosque from the army’s resources, while Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Jhagra announced compensation both in cash and employment for deceased families in Khasadar or Levies forces. The decision has been partially implemented as the political administration has still not employed the deceased people’s family members in the Khasadar force.

The newly constructed mosque was praised by many but not all as many people were grieving over the deaths of their loved ones.

Swat Scout spokesman told The Express Tribune that the mosque’s construction was completed on February 15, 2017, but work on its embellishment such as the dome, installation of a solar system and digging a tube well was not completed till Thursday. The mosque has been handed over to the local community for offering daily prayers.

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The spokesman said locals along with Frontier Corps officials offered Friday prayers in the mosque. The locals have praised the army’s efforts for reconstruction of the mosque and providing necessary compensation to the victims of the blast.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2017.


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