RAWALPINDI–Two people were killed and several injured in an explosion on Kurri Road, Rawalpindi within the precincts of an imambargah, hospital sources confirmed Wednesday. The injured are reported to be in critical condition.
Jundullah, a splinter group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack. Speaking from an unknown location, spokesman of the group Fagad told Dawn that the blast was a reaction to operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan.
Spokesperson of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Dr Ayesha Esani told reporters that two bodies were “brought dead” to the hospital, while five critically injured people are under intensive treatment. Dr Esani identified the deceased as Ghulam Hussain and Abdul Shakoor.
An initial investigation suggests the blast occurred when a suicide bomber blew himself up after security officials stopped him from entering the Qasar-e-Sakina Imambargah. The imambargah is located in the vicinity of expressway, the main highway which links the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
SHO Sadiqabad said the body of the attacker is still inside the imambargah and Islamabad police is investigating the blast sitey to confirm whether it was a suicide attack.
He added that the worshippers inside the imambargah remained safe, as the casualties include the people who were at the entrance and deployed for the security of the imambargah.
Eyewitness Mohammad Yousaf told Geo News, “When I heard the first shot, I locked the door and told worshippers to hide in the hall. People rushed inside to the mosque and saved themselves.”
He added that Maghreb prayers had started when the attacker struck, and that security giard Ghulam Hussain was killed.
Another eyewitness told DawnNews said the suicide bomber was about 20-25 years old and was speaking in Seraieki.