PESHAWAR, Mar 04 (Alliance News): A suicide attack at a mosque in Kocha Risaldar near Qissa Khwani Bazar here during Friday prayer left at least 57 worshipers dead and over 170 injured, including children and elderly persons.
Police and Lady Reading hospital spokesman told Alliance News’s correspondent that 57 worshipers were martyred and over 170 others injured in the tragic incident.
According to police, two suicide bombers targeted the innocent worshipers at Kocha Risaldar’s Jamia Masjid. They first exchanged fire with the policemen deployed for the security of the mosque and then one of them blasted himself up after entering the main hall.
Special Assistant to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif confirmed that it was a suicide attack. The two terrorists first fired at the policemen at the entrance, and then one them managed to enter the mosque to carry out the blast. A large number of worshippers were present at the mosque, he added.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Aijaz seconded Barrister Saif’s statement, saying two terrorists while trying to enter the mosque, opened fire at the policemen on duty, martyring Constable Jamil Khan and critically injuring Head Constable Farman.
According to the Lady Reading Hospital officials, some of the martyred worshipers brought to hospital, were identified are prayer leader Irshad Khalili son of Ghulam Abbas; Musarat Khan; Asif son of Iqbal, Junior Clerk of Police Department; Akhtar Hussain son of Yaqoob of Counter Terrorism Department; Constable Jamill; Ilyas Hussain son of Yusuf Ali; Syed Akbar son of Manzoor Hussain Shah; Hussain son of Muhammad Qasim; Syed Musarat Hussain; Fahim Abbas; Aqeeq Bangash; Muhammad Ali son of Faqir Hussain; Anas Aghaz son of Mir Agha; Abdul Ali son Ghulam Ali; Riaz Ali Syed son of Mohib Ali; Baz Gul son of Hassan Gul; Raza Ali; Hasanain; Fateh Ali; Mujahid Ali; Mazhar Ali Kiyanil; Ali Agha; Arif Hussain; Musarat Raza; and Altaf Hussain.
The rescue teams and police with the help of local people shifted the injured to the Lady Reading Hospital, where emergency was declared.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, and other political leaders condemned the blast.
Barrister Saif and Minister for Higher Education, Kamran Bangash visited the Lady Reading Hospital to inquire after the injured.They directed the hospital administration to provide best medical treatment to the patients.
Barrister Saif said the government stood by the families of martyrs and injured of the blast in the hour of grief.
He said investigation was underway with different angles and the culprits would soon be brought to justice.
Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the suicide attack on the mosque. In their separate messages, the president and the prime minister expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of life. They also extended condolences to the families of the deceased.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain condemning the incident said Peshawar blast, which claimed the lives of dozens of innocent people, was part of a ‘big conspiracy against the country and vowed to thwart all inimical designs of the anti-state elements effectively.
Fawad expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the tragic incident. He prayed for the departed souls and the early recovery of the injured.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Farrukh Habib strongly condemned the bomb blast and said terrorists were enemies of the country, nation, and Islam. Those who had no sanctity of mosques have no right to claim themselves human beings.
He was saddened by the loss of innocent lives in the tragic incident and expressed condolences to the family of the victims.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed strongly condemned the Peshawar blast and said it was a planned bomb attack to disrupt peace and tranquility of the capital city of the province.
He expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the blast and extended condolence to the families of the deceased.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Dr Moeed Yusuf also condemned the incident in a tweet.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , Mahmood Khan strongly condemned the blast and expressed profound grief and sorrow over precious loss of lives and condoled with victim families.
The Chief Minister directed the ministers Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif and Kamran Bangash to supervise the relief operations and the provision of medical aid to the injured.
Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo strongly condemned the suicide blast at a mosque in Peshawar and expressed deep sorrow over the loss of precious lives of people in the attack and prayed for early recovery of the injured.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah strongly condemned the blast and expressed his sorrow and regret over the loss of precious lives.
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noor ul Haq Qadri also condemned the Peshawar blast in the strongest terms.
Offering condolence with the bereaved families, he said he was with them at this moment of grief and sorrow. He said no religion on earth inculcate the lesson of death and destruction.
Meanwhile, Special Representative to Prime Minister on Interfaith Harmony & Middle East and Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi condemning the blast said targeting innocent people in a place of worship was an inhuman act and the culprits would be given exemplary punishment.
He said that the government of Pakistan was committed to root out terrorism from the country, adding that all the religious leaders were on the same page and condemned this brutal incident. He expressed sympathies with the families of martyrs and the injured.
Meanwhile, Department of State, United States of America also condemned the incident.
German Ambassador to Pakistan Bernhard Schlagheck also condemned the incident in a tweet shared on social media.
Canada’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Wendy Gilmour condemned the attack and expressed condolence with the bereaved families.
On a social media platform, The head of HSP Pakistan Dr Steffen Kudella also condemned the incident and termed it a crime against humanity.
He said ” We are shocked by the horrible terror attack in #Peshawar. More than 50 people died, over 190 are wounded. With our thoughts and prayers we are with the victims and their families.”