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Pakistan: Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations turn tragic as 15 drown in boat accident, 11 rescued

People gathered in large numbers in the Kund Park region of Nowshera district to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, when the boat accident occurred. This came on the same day as a truck carrying pilgrims fell into a ravine in Balochistan's Hub district, killing 17 people.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Peshawar Published on: April 12, 2024 14:07 IST
Representational Image
Image Source : PIXABAY Representational Image

Peshawar: Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations across Pakistan on Wednesday turned tragic as 15 people drowned when their boat capsised in the Indus River in the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to officials on Thursday. The officials said they rescued 11 people alive and the search for the missing three is underway.

The tragedy took place in the Kund Park region of Nowshera district where people, who gathered in large numbers to celebrate Eid festivities, drowned in the river at the confluence of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces, 1122 Rescue officials said. The rescue teams from Nowshera, Swabi and Mardan are participating in the search operation.

KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and Governor Ghulam Ali expressed grief over the incident. This accident took place on the same day as when a bus carrying pilgrims fell into a deep ravine near a border town of Pakistan's Sindh and Balochistan provinces, killing 17 people and injuring more than 30 others.

The pilgrims were going to pay homage at the remote Muslim Sufi shrine Shah Noorani in the Khuzdar district of Balochistan when their bus fell into the ravine in the Hub town on Wednesday. Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi said the driver apparently lost control at a bend and the bus fell into the ravine. All the passengers belonged to Thatta town in the Sindh province.

A police official said the accident occurred due to a sharp turn during the drive, Geo News reported. The driver of the truck, Karim Baksh — who was also injured in the incident — has been taken into custody. "More than 70 people had left for the pilgrimage from Makli's Qasim Jokhio village," the official told reporters.

Pakistani authorities had deployed more than 100,000 police and paramilitary forces at mosques and marketplaces across the country ahead of the massive Eid ul-Fitr holiday. Eid-ul-Fitr, which means feast, will be celebrated in Pakistan on Wednesday, subject to the sighting of the moon. The three-day holiday marks the end of Ramadan, Islam's holy month of fasting. The country has witnessed a surge in militant attacks in recent years, mostly claimed by Pakistani Taliban and separatists who mainly operate from the southwestern Baluchistan province. 

More than 52,000 police were being deployed at mosques as part of a security plan under which about 8,000 police were sent to sensitive places and markets in the provincial capital Lahore, according to a statement issued by Punjab police.

(with PTI inputs)

ALSO READ | Pakistan: 17 killed, over 30 injured after truck carrying pilgrims falls into ravine in Balochistan

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