At least 30 people were killed and also more than 60 were injured when a suicide bomber stormed through a packed mosque in northwest Pakistan, where Shiite Muslims make up a small but significant minority. In a busy area of downtown Peshawar, the capital of northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, a terrible incident happened following Friday afternoon services.
Lady Ready Hospital spokesperson Mohammad Asim verified the deaths. Several wounded persons were in “life-threatening condition,” he told journalists, adding the number of deaths might rise. An eyewitness, Shayan Haider, was about to approach the mosque when he was thrown to the ground by a huge blast. According to the Dawn daily, Shayan said, “I opened my eyes and there was dust and corpses everywhere.”
“We have declared an emergency at the hospitals.”
Distressed relatives were being pulled back from the scene, where AFP journalists saw parts of the body sprawled, and lying around. Structures in the immediate vicinity were destroyed by the blast.”A man opened fire on two police officers just outside the mosque, and I saw it. A loud boom followed a few seconds later “stated Zahid Khan, a bystander.
According to his office, Prime Minister Imran Khan denounced the incident and ordered the officials to give the wounded persons with the immediate treatment they deserve. The perpetrators of one of Pakistan’s worst attacks in recent memory remain anonymous.
In Pakistan, a mostly Sunni Muslim country, assaults against Shiite religious sites are relatively uncommon. Similar assaults have been conducted recently by terrorists affiliated with both the Islamic State as well as the exiled Pakistani Taliban.
Although Peshawar, which is just 50 miles from the Afghan border, served as a regular target of terrorists during 2010, however, the situation has improved dramatically in recent times. Pakistan’s Sunni majority has lately been fighting a revival of the Taliban’s home chapter, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
There are suspicions that the TTP, which has previously attacked Shia Muslims, has indeed been encouraged by the Afghan Taliban’s victory.
The incident happened on Friday when Australian cricketers were in the country for a friendly competitive tournament. This marks the first instance when an Australian squad has visited the terrorism-stricken country in 24 years. The first encounter between the two nations started on Friday at Rawalpindi, a military city, under intense supervision.
Away teams from major cricketing nations have shunned Pakistan ever since the 2009 terrorist assault that took place in eastern Lahore on the Sri Lankan squad, which killed dozens of people. In recent years, several international teams have visited the country because of increased security precautions.
After claiming safety issues, New Zealand withdrew its squad from the Rawalpindi series in September, just days before the start of the first match.