ISLAMABAD: The Rawalpindi police registered first information report (FIR) for Friday's explosion at an imambargah in Chittian Hattian at Waris Khan Police Station on Saturday.
The case was registered on a complaint lodged by the custodian of the imambargah Ibne Mohammad Rizvi under charges of murder, attempted murder, terrorism, possessing and using banned explosive material.
Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rawalpindi, Akhtar Umar Hayat Lalika has also constituted a Joint Investigation Team (JIT), headed by Superintendent Police (SP) Rawal Town Karamat Ullah Malik to probe the incident and submit its report, Malik told The Express Tribune.
Earlier, a faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for an apparent suicide attack on an Imambargah in Rawalpindi, which killed seven people and wounded 15 others.
The powerful explosion on Friday night triggered chaos as dozens of Shias gathered in the mosque to distribute alms to mark the birthday of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
"We claim responsibility of the attack on the Imambargah and vow to continue such attacks," spokesperson of the Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Ehsanullah Ehsan, said in an email.
"We want to make it clear to these infidel rulers that we will not be impressed by any of their laws or hangings," he added.
The offensive against the Taliban has been strengthened since the attack on an army-run school on December 16 which killed 150 people, 134 of them children.
The country ended its six-year-old moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases last month in the wake of the massacre.
Nine convicted militants have been hanged so far since the de facto ban on capital punishment ended.
To further boost its efforts, the government on Friday announced it was setting up nine military courts to hear terrorism-related cases.
Residents walk in front of the suicide blast site in Rawalpindi on January 10, 2015, a day after the attack. PHOTO: AFP
PM Nawaz condemns Rawalpindi blast
Following the brutal suicide attack outside Imambargah Aun Muhammad Rizvi in Rawalpindi on Friday night, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack, Radio Pakistan reported.
The attack left seven dead and seventeen injured.
He expressed the government’s resolve in eradicating the menace of terrorism and extremism.
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid have also condemned the blast.
The blast took place outside the Imambargah where a ceremony was organised in connection with Eid Miladun Nabi (SAW), according to the acting City Police Officer (CPO) Haroon Joya.
Around 80 people, including women and children, were present in the Imambargah when the explosion occurred.
Chaos was triggered among those inside the mosque when the attack took place. The blast also left some houses damaged in the neighbourhood.
The casualties were wheeled out on carts from the narrow lanes of the Committee Chowk area where the Imambargah is located while security officials cordoned off the area to facilitate access for rescuers.
Laid to rest
Funeral prayers of the deceased were held today in Rawalpindi.
A man mourns for his relative killed in the attack . PHOTO: AFP
Mourners carry coffins of victims after funeral prayers in Rawalpindi on January 10, 2015. PHOTO: AFP