59 martyred in Peshawar Police Lines mosque blast

Ishaq Khan

PESHAWAR: At least 59 worshipers mostly policemen were martyred, while 157 others were injured in a suicide blast inside the mosque of Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines during the Zuhr (afternoon) prayer, on Monday.

According to security officials, the attacker was present in the front row during the prayer when he exploded himself. The explosion was so powerful that the front portion of the mosque, located in the Red Zone, was razed to the ground.

The Rescue 1122 personnel along with police continued the operation to retrieve the worshippers still trapped beneath the debris.

PESHAWAR: Rescue workers carry the remains of the blast victims from the debris of a damaged mosque after a blast inside the police headquarters in Provincial Capital.

The KP Health Department imposed emergency in all three major hospitals of Peshawar. The governor and LRH spokesman appealed to the people, particularly those having O negative blood group, to donate blood.

While talking to journalists, Commissioner Peshawar Riaz Mehsud said that there was no shortage of medicines in hospitals and rescue operation for recovery of the trapped worshippers from the mosque’s debris had almost been completed.

Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Peshawar Muhammad Ijaz Khan told the media that it was too early to comment about the nature of the blast. However, there was the smell of explosives inside the mosque, he added while not ruling out the possibility of a suicide attack.

CCPO said that usually 300 to 400 people, including officials of the headquarters of Peshawar Police, Counter Terrorism Department, Frontier Reserve Police, Elite Force and Telecommunication departments offered Zuhr prayer at the mosque.

According to reports, the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had taken responsibility for the blast inside the mosque of Peshawar Police Lines.

The people in a large number thronged the hospitals to inquire about their injured loved ones and donate blood. The LRH spokesman, however, urged the families of the victims to avoid rushing to the hospital so that hassle-free treatment could be provided to the injured admitted in emergency, trauma, and other wards. Police officials confirmed that Sahibzada Noor Ul Amin, Imam of the mosque, was also martyred in the blast.

The dead included Inspector Doran Shah; Zohaib Nawaz, resident of Dir Lower; Maqsood Ahmed; Rashida Bibi; Rafiq of Lakki Marwat; Constable Naseem Shah; Liaqat of Charsadda; Driver Amjad; Shehryar; Liaqat of Lakki Marwat; Mohammad Ali of Mian Gujar; Sahibzada; Zahir Shah; Tilawat Shah; Waseem Shah; Gul Ashraf; Hayatullah Khattak; Zubair; Abdul Hameed; Usman; Khalid Khan of Charsadda; Rafiq Khan; Inspector Irfan Khan; FC personnel Shahab of Charsadda; Abdul Wadud; FC personnel Ahmad Khan; Liaqatullah Shah of Lakki Marwat; Atif Mujeeb; Rizwanullah of Charsadda; and Hazrat Umer while the identity of two bodies was not yet ascertained.

PM visits LRH, inquires after injured of mosque blast: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif visited the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) here Monday evening to inquire after the injured of the deadly blast that had taken place at the mosque of Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines during Zuhr prayers.

The prime minister took rounds of different wards and met the injured. He directed the hospital administration to provide the best medical facilities to all the injured. He was accompanied by Minister for Defense Khwaja Muhammad Asif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb.

Earlier on his arrival at the LRH, PM Shehbaz was received by caretaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Azam Khan, Adviser to the PM on Political Affairs Engr Amir Muqam, and Inspector General of Poice Muazzam Jah Ansari.

Peshawar mosque attack widely condemned

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack that took place in a mosque at Peshawar Police Lines, reiterating the national resolve and unity to eliminate terrorism from the country. He, in a statement, said that the killing of Muslims while they worshipped, was in violation of Islamic teaching and that the attack on a mosque evidenced that the perpetrators had nothing to do with Islam.

He said the terrorists wanted to create panic by targeting those safeguarding the country and reiterated his resolve to eliminate such elements waging war against Pakistan. “The killers of innocent people will be made an example. The whole nation including the institutions was united against terrorism,” he remarked.

He said the nation saluted the martyrs and that the government would formulate a strategy regarding the deteriorating law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. President Dr Arif Alvi strongly condemned the suicide bomb attack on the mosque at the Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines in Peshawar.

The president, in a message of condolence, expressed grief and sorrow for the worshippers who were martyred due to the suicide attack. Those who carried out suicide attacks on the Muslims while offering prayers were the enemies of Islam, humanity, and Pakistan, he added. The president prayed to Allah Almighty for the grant of higher ranks in Jannah for the martyred and patience for the heirs of the victims.

Caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Muhammad Azam Khan on Monday strongly condemned the blast in a Mosque here at Police Line that claimed the lives of policemen and others. In a message issued here, the Chief Minister expressed sympathies with the bereaved family members of the blast victims. He prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul of the martyred policemen and early recovery of the injured.

Meanwhile, Yousaf Raza Gillani, Mian Khurram Rasool, also expressed profound grief and sorrow over losing precious lives in an apparent suicide bomb blast during the Zuhr prayers inside the mosque. He prayed to Almighty Allah to bless the departed souls and grant courage to the bereaved families to bear the irreparable loss with fortitude.

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman strongly condemned the blast in a mosque here at Police Lines on Monday. In a condemnation message, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the attack on worship places was the worst form of barbarism. He said that the nation can fight such anti-state and inhuman elements with unity.

He prayed to Allah Almighty for early recovery of the blast injured and to rest the department soul in eternal peace and grant courage to bereaved family members to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude.

PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi, also condemned the blast and prayed to Almighty Allah to bless the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families.