Aaj English TV

Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
11 Muharram 1446  

Twin explosions in Hangu mosque during Friday prayers leaves five dead

Roof caved in on worshipers but major damage was averted
Screen Grab
Screen Grab

At least five worshipers were killed and several others injured in two explosions in a mosque during Friday prayers near Doaba police station in Hangu city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday.

Police officials said two suspected suicide bombers drove to the mosque in a vehicle when the Friday congregation was being held.

In July, more than 40 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a religious political party’s gathering.

Senior district police officer Nisar Ahmad told AFP that the two militants were armed with automatic firearms, hand grenades, and suicide vests.

They attempted to enter the mosque but were challenged by the police security guards, who shot dead one of the bombers. The other managed to enter the mosque where he blew himself up, bringing down the building.

The concrete roof of the small mosque caved in on the worshipers below.

There were between 30 and 40 worshipers at the mosque, but when police fired shots to stop the bombers, most of the worshipers were alerted and they left the mosque. This minimized the casualties.

People standing on the rubble after two explosions rocked a mosque during Friday prayers in Hangu, KP - via Aaj News
People standing on the rubble after two explosions rocked a mosque during Friday prayers in Hangu, KP - via Aaj News

Deputy Commissioner of Hangu Fazal Akbar said that three people were killed and a dozen injured as two explosions were reported inside the mosque during the Friday sermon. The death toll rose to five later in the day as two more bodies were recovered from the debris, Rescue officials said.

Relief operation was under way to rescue the remaining people stuck under the pile of rubble, they added.

The car used by the suicide bombers - via author
The car used by the suicide bombers - via author

During the fire exchange outside the mosque, two policemen were also injured who were receiving treatment and were out of danger, an official said.

Earlier, a police official said that two bodies and five injured had been pulled out of the debris.

Rescue operation underway after suicide bombing in a mosque during Friday prayers near Doaba police station in Hangu city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - via author
Rescue operation underway after suicide bombing in a mosque during Friday prayers near Doaba police station in Hangu city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - via author

Located near the Doaba police station, this was a small mosque with a capacity of around 70 people.

According to the SHO of the police station, a loud explosion occurred during the second sermon of the Friday prayer, which collapsed a certain part of the mosque.

The local authorities imposed an emergency in the District Hospital Hangu while the security forces arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area.

This is the second blast in a single day as a suspected suicide bombing resulted in the killing of around 52 people at Eid Miladun Nabi procession in Balochistan’s Mastung city.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was grieved over the two blasts and prayed for the departed souls.

“The scenes from the terror attacks in Mastung and Hangu are tragic. Human life is sacred, and the terrorists should know that we as a nation will not stand idly by as they try return us to a era of bloodshed. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the martyrs and the injured,” he wrote on X.

The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has distanced itself from the suicide bombings in Mastung and Hangu. In a statement, the group’s spokesperson said his group had nothing to do with the two attacks.

The banned organisation was grieved over the blasts and condemned them. “Mosques, madressahs, schools, and public gatherings are not among the targets of the organisation,” said the outlawed terrorist group.

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