A massive explosion inside a Shia mosque on Friday rocked the Kocha Risaldar neighborhood of Peshawar, killing 30 Pakistani citizens and injuring more than 50. Police said the attack took place as worshipers had gathered in the mosque for their Friday prayers.
There are no details available yet on the nature of the explosion, but reports confirmed that the destruction caused in the region is serious. Police and rescue personnel have reached the site to learn that 10 injured people are in critical condition.
Bomb explosion in Jamia Mosque, Qissa, Peshawar #Pakistan during Friday prayers.
More than 30 people died and several others were injured.
The terrorists reportedly first tried to enter the mosque where they exchanged gunfire with the police.#Peshawar#PeshawarBlastpic.twitter.com/clfygst384
—Bastola Ramesh (@imbastola) March 4, 2022
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and ordered the immediate provision of medical treatment to the injured. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid also condemned the attack, saying he had ordered the province’s chief secretary and inspector general of police to submit a report.
The capital’s police officer revealed that a police officer died in the attack. According to the police, two people assaulted the policeman as they tried to enter the mosque.
قصہ خوانی بازار کے کوچہ رسالدار شیعہ جامع مسجد میں دو حملہ آور نے گک٩
ڈیوٹی پر موجود پولیس اہلکاروں پر فائرنگ ہوئی ہے
فائرنگ سے ایک پولیس جوان شہید جبکہ دوسرا زخمی ہوا ہے جس کی حالت تشویشناک ہوا ہے جس کی
پولیس ٹیم پر حملہ کے بعد جامع مسجد میں دھماکہ ہوا ہے
— Peshawar Capital Police (@PeshawarCCPO) March 4, 2022
Importantly, the attacks come specifically when the Australian cricket team is in Pakistan for the first time in 24 years and local authorities have drawn up plans to ensure their safety. According to reports, Pakistani authorities have deployed 4,100 security guards, army snipers and road closures for players.
The Australian team were skeptical about going to Pakistan for the bilateral series, but agreed as Pakistan claimed they were ready and prepared for ‘anything’. In January, a bomb attack in the city of Lahore killed three people and the incident added to the list of hundreds of terrorist attacks and threats in recent years.
Relevantly, international cricket came to a halt in Pakistan after a fatal terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team’s bus in 2009. Currently, the Australian cricket team is at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, at a distance of 193.4 km from Peshawar.
(Story expands. Details will be added when more information becomes available)