45 killed in bombing at Pakistani mosque

04 March 2022, 07:25 pm | Updated: 04 October 2023, 03:05 am

45 killed in bombing at Pakistani mosque
Photo: collected

A powerful bomb exploded inside a Shiite Muslim mosque in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday, killing at least 45 worshippers and wounding some 65 others, many of them critically, police said.

Peshawar Police Chief Muhammed Ejaz Khan said the violence started when two armed attackers opened fire on police outside the mosque in Peshawar’s old city. One attacker and one policeman were killed in the gunfight, and another police official was wounded. The remaining attacker then ran inside the mosque and detonated a bomb.

Local police official Waheed Khan said the explosion occurred as worshippers had gathered in the Kucha Risaldar mosque for Friday prayers. The death toll will likely rise as many of the wounded are in critical condition, he added.

Ambulances rushed through congested narrow streets carrying the wounded to Lady Reading Hospital, where doctors worked feverishly. At least 150 worshippers were inside the mosque at the time of the explosion, witnesses said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, but both the Islamic State group and a violent Pakistani Taliban organization have carried out similar attacks in the region, located near the border with neighboring Afghanistan.

Shayan Haider, a witness, had been preparing to enter the mosque when a powerful explosion threw him to the street.

“I opened my eyes and there was dust and bodies everywhere,” he said.

At the Lady Reading Hospital Emergency department, there was chaos as doctors struggled to move the many wounded into operating theaters. Hundreds of relatives gathered outside the emergency department, many of them wailing and beating their chests, pleading for information about their loved ones.

Category : International