Terror strikes army mosque: 40 killed, 80 wounded
40 people have been killed mostly army officers and 80 injured in suicide blast followed by firing at Parade Lane Mosque near Qasim Market in sensitive Cantonment area of the city soon after Friday prayers.
Regional police Officer Aslam Tareen confirming the killing of 40 people in the tragic incident said that 80 people also have been wounded in the attack who have been taken to various hospitals of the city.
He said that it was a suicide attack the attackers first threw hand grenades inside the mosque and started firing later the suicide bombers present inside the mosque blew themselves up
DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas has also confirmed that 32 people have been martyred and 45 injured adding that 4 terrorists have also been killed. He said that the mosque was situated on Parade Lane, an area frequented by military officers.
According to sources, most of the killed people are said to be senior army officers of rank brigadier and major generals.
“According to the information I received a few moments ago, above 30 were killed and there are so many people injured”, Interior Minister Rehman Malik told a private television channel.
“There were two suicide bombers and the roof of the mosque collapsed,” Interior Minister said.
It is feared that the death toll could rise.
According to sources, 8 terrorists attacked in the area and exchanged gunfire with security officials before throwing hand grenades and there were reports that 4 terrorists were killed.
According to sources, terrorists entered in the mosque at the time of Juma prayer with the help of ladder and hurled hand grenades in the mosque following by gunfire with security officials.
The security officials have cordoned off the area after the blasts and sharp shooters were deployed in the area. Four helicopters were also hovering over the area and monitoring the situation.
The security officials have also located a suspicious gray color Toyota car with number plate HV 508 and it is being suspected that this is the car that transported the terrorists to the site. 5 hand grenades have also been recovered from the car. The hand grenades were immediately defused by the bomb disposal squad. The security officials also recovered 22 hand grenades from the site of the attack.
The rescue activities have been started after the blasts and the injured were shifted to nearby hospitals including Military Hospital and Combined Military Hospital and some of them were in a critical condition.
According to a private TV channel, bags thrown by attackers were also found from the area while a US made hand grenade was also recovered. According to officials, the mosque was also completely damaged.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani have strongly condemned the blast in Rawalpindi and directed authorities concerned to provide better medical facilities to injured people.
Speaker National Assembly, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, Federal Information Minister Rehman Malik, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, Chief Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Mian Nawaz Sharif, Quaid Muttahida Quami Movement Altaf Hussain, Chief Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Imran Khan, Governors and Chief Ministers of four provinces and other political leaders condemned the blasts and expressed their grieve and sorrow over loss of innocent lives.
Federal Minister Rehman Malik while talking to a private TV channel urged people and religious scholars to be united against terrorists activities, saying the country is in state of war.
He appealed to religious leaders to raise their voice against such attacks as terrorists are playing in the hands of enemies of Pakistan.
After blasts in Rawalpindi, security has been further enhanced in the country and officials were deployed outside of mosques in Lahore.