21 people were killed and at least 60 were reported injured in a terror attack at a Shiite mosque in Hayatabad Phase-5 in Peshawar.
Three to four attackers entered Imamia Imambargah in Peshawar’s Hayatabad area during Friday prayers, Deputy Commissioner Peshawar, Riaz Mehsood, told reporters.
He said the attackers opened indiscriminate fire on people and hurled two hand grenades, before one of them blew himself up.
“There were two suicide bombers among three to four attackers. One of them blew himself up while others hurled hand grenades. We have recovered a suicide jacket during search operation,” he said while speaking to media persons at the blast scene.
Personnel of army, police and law-forcing agencies (LEAs) arrived at the scene and cordoned off the entire locality to kick a counter operation.
Reports said some of the attackers might have been inside the shiite mosque that was yet to be cleared of terrorists.
The bodies and injured were shifted to Hayatabad Medical Complex where several people are reported to be in serious condition.
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, and Chief Minister KPK, Pervez Khattak were also due to arrive at the scene, but were not allowed due to security reasons, Mushtaq Ghani said.
SSP Operations, Mian Saeed, said the attackers managed to barge into the mosque from an adjacent under-construction building. He said one of the suicide bombers was injured in shootout with police and later died of injuries.
IG KPK Police, Nasir Durrani, said number of the attackers could not be confirmed immediately, adding that a search operation was underway inside the mosque.
“The attack might be a reaction of army’s Zarb-e-Azb operation that is underway in tribal areas,” he said.
The attack comes two weeks after a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in Shikarpur town of Sindh killed 61 people, the deadliest sectarian incident to hit the country in nearly two years.