Place of worship attacked; 8 killed

Published October 8, 2005

MANDI BAHAUDDIN, Oct 7: Eight people were killed and 18 others injured when three men on motorbikes opened fire on them when they were offering dawn prayers in Mong, 8 kilometres from here, on Friday.

Reports reaching here said that the worshippers belonged to the Ahmadi community. Two of the attackers entered the place where prayers were being offered and sprayed the 26 worshippers with bullets.

Six of the victims, Yasir, Navid, Abid, Raja Abdul Waheed, Altaf and Aslam, died on the spot and Ashraf and Lehrasib in the Mandi DHQ Hospital.

Those wounded include Captain (retired) Ayub, Mumtaz, Abu Huraira, Sajid, Amir, Umar Farooq, Sajid Munir, Qamar, Tauseef, Bilal, Ghulam Ali, Mahmood Shah, Basharat and Qaisar. Five of them whose injuries were serious were taken to Lahore and the CMH, Kharian.

Police teams have been set up to track down the culprits.

Punjab Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja said in a TV interview that some suspects had been arrested. After the attack, security around mosques, imambargahs and other places of worship was beefed up. Punjab Chief Minister has announced compensation of Rs100,000 for heirs of each of the dead and Rs50,000 for the injured.

Gujranwala DIG Mehr Zafar Abbas Luk said he suspected some foreign involvement in the crime.

At a press conference held at the DPO office here on Friday, he said investigation teams from FIA and Intelligence Bureau were reaching Mandi for investigation. He said 20 activists of sectarian groups had been detained for questioning.

APP ADDS: President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have condemned Friday’s heinous act of terrorism in Mandi Bahauddin which left eight people dead.

They have directed the concerned authorities to promptly investigate the matter and bring the culprits to justice so that they could be awarded exemplary punishment.

They offered condolences to the bereaved families.

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