Bomb Explodes Shiite Mosque in Pakistan; there are 56 dead

Bomb Explodes Shiite Mosque in Pakistan; there are 56 dead

bomb exploded inside a Shiite Muslim mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Friday , killing at least 56 worshipers and injuring dozens more, many seriously, police and hospital officials said.

Peshawar Police Chief Muhammed Ejaz Khan said it all started when two armed assailants opened fire on police outside the Kucha Risaldar mosque in Peshawar ‘s congested old town, near the Afghan border. An assailant and a police officer were killed in the shooting and another police officer was injured. The second assailant then broke into the temple, where he detonated the explosive.

The blast occurred as worshipers gathered for prayer, said Waheed Khan, a local police officer. The death toll could rise as many of the injured have a critical prognosis, he said.

Mosque had 150 people inside during attack

Ambulances sped through the narrow streets of the city to take the wounded to Lady Reading Hospital, where doctors were working frantically.

At the time of the attack , there were at least 150 people inside the mosque, witnesses said.

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

Shayan Haider, a witness, explained that he was about to enter the mosque when a powerful explosion threw him into the street. “I opened my eyes and there was dust and bodies everywhere,” he said.

Chaos reigned in the emergency room at Lady Reading Hospital as doctors tried to take the many wounded to surgery. Hundreds of relatives gathered in front of the emergency unit, many of them crying and beating their chests, begging for information about their loved ones.

prayer leader dies

Outside the mosque , Shiite Muslims thronged the cordoned-off streets. The Kucha Risaldar Mosque is one of the oldest in the area, predating Pakistan ‘s creation in 1947 as a separate homeland for Muslims from the Indian subcontinent.

Prayer leader Allama Irshad Hussein Khalil, a prominent young Shiite leader, was among the dead. Ambulance sirens could be heard throughout the city.

The country’s prime minister, Imran Khan, condemned the attack.

In Pakistan, a majority Sunni Muslim nation, the minority Shiites have been the target of numerous attacks.

The Pakistani government has urged Afghanistan‘s new rulers to hand over Pakistani Taliban insurgents who have been staging attacks on Pakistani soil from Afghanistan. The Afghan Taliban government has ensured that its territory will not be used for attacks against anyone, but so far they have not handed over any Pakistani insurgents.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.