A bomb ripped through a mosque in the old city quarters Saturday afternoon, killing at least six worshippers and injuring 27 others, officials said.
The blast occurred in Meena Bazaar, a busy shopping area, as worshipers were offering afternoon prayers. “The death toll rose to six after a blast victim died of his wounds in hospital,” SP Peshawar city Khalid Hamdani told The Express Tribune.
Among the dead was the chief cleric of the mosque, Qari Syed Hussain Shah, who belongs to the Barelvi school of thought.
Another police official, Imran Shahid said the bomb was planted inside the mosque. There were up to 40 people in the mosque at the time of the blast, he added.
“There was dust and smoke everywhere and I lost consciousness soon after,” Muhammad Irfan, who was also wounded in the blast, told The Express Tribune.
Another injured eyewitness, Fayaz, said an unidentified man had placed a shopping bag in front of the prayer leader minutes before the afternoon prayers began, subsequently excusing himself for ablution. “I was lucky to survive the blast because I was in the second row,” he said.
The injured were taken to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH).
“We have four dead and 29 injured. Four of them are a critical,” said Arshad Javed, the hospital’s chief executive officer, adding that an emergency had been declared at the hospital, where at least four victims were said to be in a critical condition.
Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Special Branch Shafqat Malik told The Express Tribune that four to five kilogrammes of explosives were used in the homemade bomb which was remotely detonated.
The Masjid-e-Chushtia Hanfia mosque is located in the densely populated Mohalla Baqar Shah area of Peshawar. Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf condemned the bombing and said “such acts of terror cannot weaken the nation’s resolve to wipe out terrorism from our society,” an official statement said. (Additional input from AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ