Sectarian violence: Suicide bomber kills 24 worshippers in Hangu

Published: February 2, 2013
Paramilitary soldiers and policemen gather at the site of the blast. PHOTO: AFP

Paramilitary soldiers and policemen gather at the site of the blast. PHOTO: AFP


For any eyewitness, it may well have been a scene from the Armageddon. Charred human remains lay scattered amid pools of blood along the streets of a crowded market in Hangu, a brutal reminder of Friday’s suicide bombing near a Shia Imam bargah. At least 27 people were killed and 55 more injured in the attack – which targeted worshippers as they poured in and out for Friday prayers.

The bomber detonated explosives packed into a motorcycle in a narrow lane in the Pat Bazaar area that houses both a Shia and a Sunni mosque.

The deputy inspector general of police in Kohat region, Syed Imtiaz Shah, said the police had found the head of the bomber, who came there on a motorcycle and was approximately 22 years old. He went on to add that the attack targeted Shias, but Sunnis also fell victim since their mosque was also very close to the site.

“It is a crowded place where people from both the sects offer prayers. The Shia and Sunni mosques are very close to each other,” Shah said.

The blast, which took place as Shias were leaving Friday prayers and Sunnis entering their mosque for the Friday sermon, also damaged more than a dozen shops. Almost seven kilogrammes of explosives were used in the explosion, according to Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) in-charge Asadullah.

Two Sunnis and three police officers were among those killed in the blast. District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Muhammad Ishaq Bangash said an emergency was declared in the local hospital soon after the explosion, adding that the critically injured were shifted to Kohat divisional headquarters hospital and Lady Reading in Peshawar.

“A large number of people donated blood to the victims,” said Bangash.

Muzammil Hussain, a 28-year-old Shia who received wounds to his head and hand, said that he heard the blast as he left the mosque.

“As soon as I reached the mosque exit, a huge blast rocked the area. Many people fell on me with the impact of the blast,” he said by telephone from the District Headquarters hospital (DHQ) in nearby Kohat.

“I saw red and bloodied pieces of human flesh everywhere. It was a scene I’d never seen in my life before. I was half conscious when people moved to a local hospital from where my family took me to the DHQ,” he said.

“I could see human remains and blood splattered on the boundary walls of the mosque and on nearby shops,” said Constable Raaz Muhammad, who took part in the rescue effort. “The entire street was littered with sandals and caps of the people who were coming out of the mosque,” he added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Mirza
    Feb 2, 2013 - 2:45AM

    Nobody would take suo motu (even after 20% more) on this ethnic cleansing of Muslims by the terrorists. No terrorist left behind is the policy of the high judiciary who refuses to punish terrorists. Two bottles of wine, a slap, sugar price, govt appointments can start suo motu but not the ethnic cleansing of Muslims.


  • Indian
    Feb 2, 2013 - 3:20AM

    Very sad news, condolences from India. Hope Pakistan has a peaceful 2013. But it’s even more sad that Pakistanis think all Indians are bad and hate them. India is a country of 1.2 billion people. Almost 20% of humanity. We don’t all hate Pakistanis. And yet I’m sure that not a single Pakistani reading this will believe it :-(


  • FJ
    Feb 2, 2013 - 3:51AM

    So after so many hours ET finally realised to post this news? ET always highlight shia killing but what took you so long to post this news?


  • gp65.
    Feb 2, 2013 - 4:20AM

    Condolences. I hope that the injured recover soon and God gives strength to the families of those that passed on.

    It is unclear how this is characterised as sectarian violence though since apparently the SHia worshippers were leaving and Sunni worshippers were entering their respective mosques and were both the target of the bomb. Ofcourse there have been many sectarian attacks but this seems not to be one going by the description here..


  • Khan
    Feb 2, 2013 - 4:22AM

    now people even pray. What kind of Muslims are we.


  • Misery Ghalib
    Feb 2, 2013 - 4:42AM

    musharaff sacrificed shias of the nli in kargil war


  • Vimal Mohan
    Feb 2, 2013 - 4:48AM

    Relegion has become a curse for human race.


  • Watch Movies
    Feb 2, 2013 - 6:32AM

    You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them to only bite your neighbour
    — Hillary Clinton


  • Super Star
    Feb 2, 2013 - 9:30AM

    This is becoming normal news in Pakistan just like iraq , Syria


  • Imran Ahmed (@IAgnikul)
    Feb 2, 2013 - 10:07AM

    When will we learn to stop preaching hate for humanity?


  • Feroz
    Feb 2, 2013 - 1:48PM

    One Muslim killed outside Pakistan and people are out in the streets of Pakistan in protest, thousands of Muslims killed every year in Pakistan but not a whimper from any source — nobody in the World has been able to figure out this conundrum.


  • Imran Ahmed (@IAgnikul)
    Feb 2, 2013 - 2:19PM

    Neighbour, many Pakistanis are indoctrinated with State encouraged hatred against Indians, Jews, Bengalis, Qadianis and Americans from infancy, some are also taught to hate Shias, Christians, Wahabis, dark complexions, Muhajirs and low castes. Like any brainwashed person we are now unable to distinguish truth from our own propaganda.


  • Feb 2, 2013 - 5:17PM

    God bless my country.


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