Saturday, September 30, 2023
HANGU: A blast ripped through a mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Hangu, local officials confirmed Friday, leaving five dead — including a policeman — and 12 injured.
The incident took place within the parametres of Police Station Doaba during the Friday sermon — a time when scores of believers are gathered at a mosque for their weekly prayer.
Hangu District Police Officer Nisar Ahmed said 30-40 people were under the rubble — as the mosque's roof caved in — and an operation was underway to rescue them.
Ahmed said two suicide bombers were involved in the attack — one targeted the gate of the police station, and the other blew himself up inside the mosque.
The 12 people, rescued from the rubble, have been shifted to a nearby hospital, he said.
Caretaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Azam Khan, taking notice, directed officials to enforce an emergency in all hospitals of the city as he sought a report on the blast from law enforcers.
The police officials said that two militants tried entering the police station and started firing at the gate. They added that one of the terrorists was killed at the gate by the police in retaliatory fire.
Moreover, two policemen were also injured during the firing, officials of the law enforcement agency said, adding that the other militant blew himself up inside the mosque.
The timely action by the police resulted in fewer casualties following the blast, they added.
This was the second terror attack to hit Pakistan in a single day as earlier today, a suicide blast in Balochistan's Mastung district killed at least 35 people including a police officer while injuring over 45.
The explosion took place near the mosque where people were gathering to mark Eid Miladun Nabi — the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
For the past year now, Pakistan has been gripped by a spate of terror attacks, with Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa particularly being under the radar of militants targeting security forces and civilians to deteriorate peace.
Security forces, however, continue to conduct operations against terrorists to eliminate terrorism from the country in its resolve to strengthen the sacrifices of its soldiers.
Earlier this month, a report compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) stated a sharp increase recorded in militant attacks across the country in the month of August with 99 terror incidents reported.
This, according to the report, was the highest number recorded in any single month since November 2014. These attacks have resulted in 112 deaths and 87 injuries, mostly targeting security forces personnel and civilians.