Attacks on imambargahs kill three in Gujranwala

Published November 9, 2013
According initial investigation by the police, the attackers came on motorcycles and managed to escape.—AP/FIle Photo
According initial investigation by the police, the attackers came on motorcycles and managed to escape.—AP/FIle Photo

GUJRANWALA: At least three worshipers were killed early Saturday morning when gunmen opened fire at two different Imambargahs in Gujranwala, sparking protests from mourners and enraged members of the Shia community.

According to police reports, the first incident took place close to dawn when unknown gunmen opened fire as Mohammad Yousuf, the prayer leader (pesh-imam) of the Qasr-i-Abu Talib imambargah in Mominpura area, had just finished leading Fajr prayers. Yousuf and another person present at the mosque died on the spot.

A short while later, gunmen entered the Qasr-i-Zainabiya imambargah in Shahrukh Colony located a short distance from the first mosque and opened indiscriminate firing, killing worshiper Syed Jawed on the spot.

According the initial investigation reports by the police, the attackers had come on motorcycles and managed to escape. One eyewitness told a local TV channel that the gunmen used a silencer-fitted pistol.

The killing of the three Shia men took place on the fourth day of Ashura, the first ten days of the holy Muslim month of Muharram during which Shia Muslims mourn in remembrance of the seventh century death of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), at the Battle of Karbala.

One police officer said the attacks appeared to be sectarian in nature. RPO Syed Akhtar Bharwana said they could not rule out the involvement of the same group in both incidents.

Soon after the incidents, mourners and relatives carried the bodies of the deceased to the main Alam chowk bypass in Gujranwala, blocking the road in protest.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif both strongly condemned the firing incidents in a statement.

Editorial

Ominous demands
Updated 18 May, 2024

Ominous demands

The federal government needs to boost its revenues to reduce future borrowing and pay back its existing debt.
Property leaks
18 May, 2024

Property leaks

THE leaked Dubai property data reported on by media organisations around the world earlier this week seems to have...
Heat warnings
18 May, 2024

Heat warnings

STARTING next week, the country must brace for brutal heatwaves. The NDMA warns of severe conditions with...
Dangerous law
Updated 17 May, 2024

Dangerous law

It must remember that the same law can be weaponised against it one day, just as Peca was when the PTI took power.
Uncalled for pressure
17 May, 2024

Uncalled for pressure

THE recent press conferences by Senators Faisal Vawda and Talal Chaudhry, where they demanded evidence from judges...
KP tussle
17 May, 2024

KP tussle

THE growing war of words between KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and Governor Faisal Karim Kundi is affecting...