QUETTA: At least two people, including the prayer leader, were killed and 24 others injured in a bomb blast in a mosque in the Pashtoonabad area of the city on Friday.
Police officials said that people were sitting inside Rehmania mosque located on the outskirts of Quetta before Friday prayers when the explosive device went off.
Soon after receiving information about the incident, personnel of police and Frontier Corps rushed to the area and launched a rescue operation. They shifted the injured to the Civil Hospital.
24 injured in the mosque explosion before Friday prayers
According to Civil Hospital medical superintendent Dr Saleem Abro, the hospital received two bodies and 24 injured. At least four injured received serious multiple injuries, he said, adding three injured had been referred to the hospital’s burns unit.
Quetta Deputy Inspector General of Police Abdul Razzaq Cheema said that the blast occurred inside the mosque when the prayer leader was delivering the sermon.
He said an explosive device weighing around 2.5kg was planted under the wooden chair on which the prayer leader sat to deliver the sermon. The blast occurred before Friday prayers when people were coming to the mosque.
A police officer said it seemed the prayer leader was the target of the bomb attack as the explosive device was placed under the wooden chair which he used for delivering sermons.
Personnel of the bomb disposal squad confirmed that an explosive device was used in the blast. They added that ball bearings were not used in the device.
The mosque was badly damaged in the blast while windowpanes of nearby houses and shops were smashed due to the impact of the powerful blast.
The prayer leader was identified as Ataur Rehman. He was a grandson of prominent religious leader Mufti Abdul Rehman Rehmani, who was also present in the mosque. He also received injures in the blast.
The other man who lost his life in the blast was identified as Sultan Mohammad.
Police and other law enforcement agencies were investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Governor retired Justice Amanullah Yasinzai, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani and Home Minister Ziaullah Langove have strongly condemned the bomb blast in the mosque.
They said the elements involved in the blast in the mosque were not human beings and they did not belong to any religion.
They expressed sorrow over the loss of lives and said that it was an barbarian act which could not be tolerated.
CM Alyani asked the officials concerned to submit a detailed report on the mosque blast. He directed the police and other law enforcement agencies to bring elements involved in the blast to justice.
Security of mosques
After the blast in Rehmania mosque, security of mosques in Quetta has been tightened. More security personnel have been deployed at mosques and patrolling during prayer and Taraveeh timings has been increased.
Talking to reporters at Rehmania mosque, DIG Cheema said that security was being provided to 100 out of 618 mosques in the city. He said the police had already identified 40 mosques in the provincial capital for providing extra security.
He said the administration of Rehmania mosque was also informed in writing that security of the mosque would be increased.
He said that it was not possible for the police to provide security to all 618 mosques in the provincial capital. However, he said the security of the city had been beefed up and more police personnel were being deployed at different places.
He said security arrangements had been completed for processions to be taken out for Al Quds Day and Yaum-i-Ali in the city.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2019