Suicide Bombing of Shiite Muslim Mosque Kills 30 in Pakistan

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A suicide bombing at a Shi’ite mosque during Friday prayers in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar has killed at least 30 people, police and hospital officials said.

Peshawar police chief, Muhammed Ejaz Khan said, the violence started when two armed attackers opened fire on police outside the mosque.

The explosion occurred as worshippers had gathered in the Kucha Risaldar mosque in Peshawar’s old city area for prayers.

Mohammad Asim, a spokesman for the nearby Lady Ready Hospital, confirmed the casualties, “More than a dozen people among the injured were in critical condition and the death toll could increase.”

“The attacker stormed the mosque in the famous Qissa Khwani Bazaar, killing two police guards at the gate before detonating his vest inside the main hall packed with hundreds of worshipers,” said Haroon Rashid, a senior police officer.

A witness, Shayan Haider, had been preparing to enter the mosque when a powerful explosion threw him to the street.

“I opened my eyes and there was dust and bodies everywhere.”

Prime minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the attack and directed the authorities to provide urgent care required to the affected people, his office said.

No one immediately took responsibility for what has been one of the deadliest bombings in Pakistan in recent years.

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