PESHAWAR: At least eight worshipers, including two children, were killed and 55 others injured in a powerful bomb blast at a Tableeghi Markaz (Islamic preaching centre and mosque) here on Thursday. “The explosion ripped through the Tableeghi Markaz located on Charsaddah Road when worshipers were offering prayer,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Najib-ur-Rehman said.
Rehman also confirmed the deaths and feared a rise in the toll.
Initially it was suspected to be a cylinder blast, but according to eyewitness accounts it could be a planted device or a suicide bombing.
The blast left a foot deep crater between two pillars of the prayer hall, sources quoted eyewitnesses as saying.
The distinctive smell of explosives and the crater imply a bomb may have been planted there, however police have not come up with any explanation on the nature of the blast as yet.
Concluding that it was not a suicide bombing, Additional Inspector General of Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS), Shafqat Malik, said a timer device with at least 5 kilograms of explosive was used in the bombing.
“The timed improvised explosive device (IED) was planted in an empty canister of ghee,”, Malik said.
The casualties were being shifted to Lady Reading Hospital.
According to hospital sources at least 55 injured have so far been brought to the emergency room — many of them critical. The head of the hospital confirmed the number of the casualties.
A wounded worshiper told Geo News that they had just started offering Namaz-e Maghrib (prayer offered just after sunset) when the explosion struck.
“The bomb went off while we were in the middle of first Rakat (a unit of Muslim prayer)”, said he. He added that faithfuls were still pouring in as it was a special worship night, which attracted a lot many preachers and Muslims at large from and out of the city.
Peshawar Blast at Tableeghi Markaz Dailymotion Video ::
“This special 3-day preaching session starts on Thursday night and the terrorists struck when the attendance peaked”, an official said.
A search and clearance operation is underway at the moment.
Source: The News
Peshawar Tableeghi Markaz Blast : Pictures::