Suicide blast inside Hangu mosque kills 5, injures around 12

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People can be seen after a blast in Hangu, KP, on September 29, 2023. — Reporter People can be seen after a blast in Hangu, KP, on September 29, 2023. — Reporter

HANGU: At least five people, including a police officer, lost their lives while several others were injured after a bomb went off inside a mosque during Friday's sermon, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Hangu, where people were gathered for weekly prayers.

The city's district police officer (DPO) Nisar Ahmed said that the blast took place within the limits of the Doaba police station. Over 30 people have been buried under the rubble after the roof of the mosque collapsed following the blast. 

Ahmed said two suicide bombers were involved in the attack — one targeted the gate of the police station, and the other blew himself up inside the mosque.

According to the law enforcement agency, a rescue operation to pull people from the rubble is underway while 12 rescued people have been shifted to a nearby hospital. 

Caretaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Azam Khan, taking notice, directed officials to enforce an emergency in all hospitals of the city as he sought a report on the blast from law enforcers.

The police officials said that two militants tried entering the police station and started firing at the gate. They added that one of the terrorists was killed at the gate by the police in retaliatory fire. 

Moreover, two policemen were also injured during the firing, officials of the law enforcement agency said, adding that the other militant blew himself up inside the mosque. 

The timely action by the police resulted in fewer casualties following the blast, they added. 

This was the second terror attack in a single day as earlier today, a suicide blast in Balochistan's Mastung district killed at least 35 people including a police officer while injuring over 45. 

The explosion took place near the mosque where people were gathering to mark Eid Miladun Nabi — the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

For the past year now, Pakistan has been gripped by a spate of terror attacks, with Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa particularly being under the radar of militants targeting security forces and civilians to deteriorate peace.

Security forces, however, continue to conduct operations against terrorists to eliminate terrorism from the country in its resolve to strengthen the sacrifices of its soldiers.

Earlier this month, a report compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) stated a sharp increase recorded in militant attacks across the country in the month of August with 99 terror incidents reported.

This, according to the report, was the highest number recorded in any single month since November 2014. These attacks have resulted in 112 deaths and 87 injuries, mostly targeting security forces personnel and civilians.