27 perish in Hangu mosque blast

Over 50 critically injured
Tariq Saeed

27 perish in Hangu mosque blast Saturday, February 02, 2013 - Peshawar—There appears to be no end to the barbarism of the heartless terrorists as a suicide explosion outside a mosque immediately after the Juma congregation in communal strife ridden Hungu district Friday afternoon left least 27 faithful dead and serious injuries to over fifty others. Condition of large number of the wounded persons in various hospitals of the city was described as critical with the medics apprehending the death toll might go higher. A policeman is also included among the dead.

The police authorities said a majority of those killed in the Friday’s deadly blast belonged to Shiah community. A number of vehicles and many shops were also damaged in the blast that destroyed the mosque badly.

Reports reaching here from Hangu said, a teenaged suicide bomber blew himself outside Jamia mosque Faizullah in Patt Bazaar area where the Friday prayers had hardly concluded and the faithful were coming out of the mosque playing havoc in the area where a busy market is located.

While the locals rushed the victims to the district headquarters hospital, the security forces and the rescue teams too reached the spot to carry out rescue operation. The law enforcers immediately cordoned off the area not allowing anybody to get close to the site of the blast in order to facilitate the rescue activities effectively and to avoid the risk of another explosion. The doctors at the City’s major hospitals declared as many as 27 people dead while more than fifty others were admitted for treatment to various hospitals including Kohat and Peshawar with many of them stated to be in precarious condition.

Incharge District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Hangu said more than 50 people were brought to the hospital out of which 16, who were stated to be in serious condition, were shifted to hospitals in Kohat.

District Police Officer (DPO) Hangu Dr. Muhammad Saeed said the blast was a suicide attack and that the bomber had tactically selected a spot outside of the mosque which opened into a crowded market. “The bomber was targeting the Shia Muslims yet many Sunni fell prey, owning shops which were razed grand by the explosion,” the DPO added.

“Most of the victims were coming out of a mosque in the marketplace after Friday prayers when a huge explosion took them out,” a senior police officer said and added, “We have found the head of the bomber, who reached the spot on a motorbike.” He said the bomber was between the age of 14 to sixteen years.

Eye witnesses said a man standing outside a mosque, blew himself up the moment Jumma congregation was over and the faithful had emerged outside the mosque.

The bomb disposal squad after gathering clues from the site confirmed it was a suicide explosion wherein 7kg explosive material was used. Communal violence hit

Hangu city, it may be recalled, is considered among the most sensitive cities and sectarian uprisings as well as sabotage activities in the past have eatenup hundreds of people.The Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa Governor, Barrister Masood Kausar has strongly condemned the bomb blast at Hangu and expressed his deep shock and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the tragic incident. This is worst act of terrorism wherein innocent worshipers were killed, he added.

In his condolence message the Governor while expressing his deep sympathies with members of the bereaved families, said that the tragic incident shocked the entire nation asked the concerned authorities to ensure best ever available treatment to the injured.

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