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Explosion kills five in Peshawar mosque

March 09, 2013

Rescuers and local people look around the blast site in Peshawar on Saturday. – Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi

PESHAWAR: At least five people were killed and 29 others injured in an explosion inside a mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Saturday, Chief Executive of the Lady Reading Hospital Dr Arshad Javed told reporters. Earlier however, SP Peshawar city Khalid Hamdani had said six people were killed in the explosions and 28 others were injured.

The blast took place inside the Chishtia Hanafia Ganj Ali Khan mosque near the city's Meena bazaar.

The bomb was planted near the front row of the congregation and people were getting ready to pray when the blast occurred, eye witnesses said.

Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat’s divisional chief, Haji Tariq Haideri, said Qazi Mohallah Ganj Gate, Muhammad Ilyas, had also died in the blast.

Four to five kilograms of explosives were used in the remote-controlled bomb blast, Bomb Disposal Unit in-charge AIG Shafqat Malik said.

District Coordination Officer Peshawar Muhammad Javed told Dawn.com four deaths had been confirmed while 29 others were injured, out of which three were in critical conditions.

He said the bomb was planted beside the prayer leader and was detonated at about 1:15pm.

Condemning the incident, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Eshanullah Ehsan said the TTP was opposed to attacks on public places and gatherings.

The blast badly shattered the walls of the mosque and the fans and other electronic equipment was reduced to rubble.

Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has been the site of several terrorist attacks in recent months.

The city is surrounded by tribal regions where Al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban militants are said to have hideouts.

The Pakistani military has carried out several operations in the area, but intermittent terrorist attacks continue.