Shia mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar attacked by four suicide bombers, dressed forces uniforms, hit the Imamia mosque during Friday prayers, an officials report killing 20 people and injured more than 65 others.The police and three gunmen exchanged gunfire at the mosque in Hayatabad district. Officials later said one militant was killed in the gunfight and the other one blew himself up. Another militant was arrested.
Police chief Mian Saeed said the militants stormed the mosque wearing suicide vests. Police chief Mian Saeed said the militants stormed the mosque wearing suicide vests.
However, only one attacker managed to detonate his explosives. The other two reportedly threw grenades and shot at the congregation that had gathered for Friday prayers. The Pakistani Taliban said that their fighters had carried out the attack. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack in an emailed statement.Further many grenades were too recovered from the site.
Inspector General Police (IGP) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Nasir Durrani told reporters the attackers entered the mosque by scaling a wall of an adjacent under-construction building. The IGP said the attackers arrived in a car which they burnt.
IGP Durrani added that the first suicide bomber carried out the attack in the gallery of the mosque while the body of the second suicide bomber was recovered from inside the mosque.
According to the IGP, people offering their prayers stopped a third suicide bomber from detonating his vest, though he was also killed in exchange of gunfire.
In-charge Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) unit Shafqat Malik said the attackers looked like Uzbeks.
Earlier, SSP Operations Peshawar, Dr. Mian Saeed said at least three suicide bombers attacked the Imamia Masjid Imambargah. He confirmed that one suicide bomber detonated his explosives while another was injured and succumbed to his injuries, adding that his suicide-jacket had been defused.
Senior police official Rana Umer Hayat said several gunmen threw grenades into the mosque before storming the building.
Once inside, the attackers were engaged by the mosque’s guards, as well as six policemen deputed to provided security to the building.
“The police and military forces that surrounded the area have now cleared the area, and are combing nearby areas for any attackers that may have escaped,” reported Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder from Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.