In less than 24 hours after a massive suicide blast in Balochistan's Mastung district, another suicide explosion at a mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Hangu district claimed five lives and injured 12 people on Friday, said the provincial interim Information Minister Feroze Jamal.
According to a statement by Jamal, two suicide bombers managed to reach the mosque but their entries were restricted by police officers stationed there. One of the attackers was killed during a shootout with the police at the gate, while the other entered the mosque and blew himself up, reported Dawn.
The minister further informed that two officers were injured during the exchange of fire and civilians were evacuated by police after the shootout began. Hangu District Police Officer Nisar Ahmed said that the first blast occurred at the entrance of the police station.
"A few minutes later, another blast occurred inside a mosque situated on the premises of the police station," he said, adding that the roof of the mosque caved in and around 20-40 people were trapped under the rubble.
According to a rescue official, at least six of the 12 injured individuals are in critical condition and are receiving treatment. The deceased and injured persons were evacuated through the use of heavy machinery.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan sought a report on the incident from the police and instructed authorities to expedite the rescue operation. He also imposed an emergency in all hospitals across the district.
Former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief at the deaths in Hangu, saying that these instances on the sacred occasion of Eid-e-Milad showed “the malevolent intentions of terrorists”.
Security situation in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Amid an increasing spree of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have become the prime targets of such terror activities since the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) ended its ceasefire with the government last year.
There were 99 attacks across the country in September this year, the highest in any single month since 2014, according to data by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS).
These attacks have resulted in 112 deaths and 87 injuries, mostly targeting security forces personnel and civilians. These repeated instances of targeted blasts and shootouts have posed an acute risk to the safety and security
On September 6, four security personnel were killed in a shootout with terrorists in the Chitral district, which also resulted in the deaths of 16 terrorists.
Mastung suicide blast
At least 55 were killed and over 50 injured following a massive suicide blast near a mosque in Balochistan province's Mastung district on Friday, as people gathered in the area for an Eid-e-Milad procession.
Citing Mastung Assistant Commissioner Attahul Munim, Pakistani English Daily, Dawn reported that the explosion occurred when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the vehicle of Mastung Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nawaz Gishkori, who was among the deceased. Several images of the incident showed dead bodies and severed limbs.
This is the second blast in Balochistan's Mastung within a period of 15 days. On September 14, at least 11 people, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Hafiz Hamdullah, were wounded in an explosion there.
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