Suicide blast in Peshawar Shia mosque kills at least 30

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New Delhi, March 4

A suicide blast inside a Shia mosque shook Peshawar's Kocha Risaldar area on Friday, with hospital officials saying at least 30 bodies were brought to the Lady Reading Hospital, Dawn reported.

At least 80 people have been injured, according to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) minister Kamran Bangash.

KP government spokesman Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif said at least 30 people have been killed in the explosion, which he said was a suicide attack, adding that two terrorists were involved in the attack.

Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), Peshawar, Mohammad Ijaz Khan, said one police officer was martyred while Asim Khan, media manager of Lady Reading, said 30 bodies have been brought to the hospital so far.

The CCPO said that according to initial reports, two attackers tried to enter a mosque in the city's Qissa Khwani Bazaar and fired at the policemen standing guard, Dawn reported.

As a result, one policeman was killed while another was critically injured, the CCPO said, adding that one of the attackers was killed in the gunfight. The remaining attacker then ran inside the mosque and detonated a bomb, he said.

Peshawar SSP (Operations), Haroon Rasheed Khan, said the explosion was a suicide blast and that two policemen had been killed in the attack.

He said there were two attackers but only one of them was a suicide bomber. The SSP also told the media there was no "threat alert".

He said it was premature to say anything about the explosives used in the attack. "Initial investigations are underway and we can share more information later," he added.

Talking to media later in the day, Barrister Saif said security was provided to mosques as a "general rule". He added that the administration had adopted security measures at this mosque as well, adding that such measures were always ensured during congregation prayers on Fridays.

"Those martyred and injured in the attack would be given monetary assistance under the government's special package," he said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.


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