PESHAWAR: The deadly blast that struck a mosque in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency has left 50 martyred and over 100 wounded, 25 of them seriously when a suicide bomber blew himself up amidst the worshippers who were queuing for offering Friday prayer, said top administrator of Khyber Agency Capt® Tariq Hayat Khan. The bomber detonated the mosque situated close to Bigyari Check Post of the Khasadars.
The eye witness said as the Khateeb stood up for the prayer, the bomber blew himself up, splattering the human flesh all around the mosque. The walls of the mosque stained with blood and littered with organs of the human bodies. The worshippers within no time were buried under rubble of the two storey building as its gigantic structure was razed to the ground.
The local volunteers and rescuers extracted 50 dead bodies and over 100 injured from debris of the building of which condition of 25 was stated to be critical. Emergency has been declared in all the three major hospitals of Peshawar district. The ambulances were rushed to the site and over 60 injured have been shifted to hospitals in Peshawar.
The political agent said that around 250 to 300 people were offering prayer when the blast occurred. To a question, he said, the administration had launched operation against the extremists and the Khasadar force was directed to shoot at sight the miscreants. As a result of the operation, he said, the extremist elements had fled from the agency.
Tehsildar Jamrud told newsmen that rescue operation started soon after the blast. The dead also included local tribesmen, drivers and cleaners of the trucks who usually stopped for prayers while traveling. No organization has so far accepted the responsibility for the deadly blast.
Meanwhile President of Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan while talking to local mediamen while condemned the blast. He said that suicide attack in a mosque during jumap prayers could be a part of larger insurgency and urged the people to rise against the menace of extremism.
Expressing regret over the tragic blast he said that the people should now try to understand that it is not war for Islam or Shariat, its simply æFasadÆ and not æJehad. “If anyone was interested in Jehad, he should go to Isreal”, said the emotional Asfandyar Wali Khan in a depressed tone
To a question, he said, collateral damage could fuel insurgency if this trend was not stopped forthwith. Foreigners are operating unbridled in the tribal regions, he said, adding, we are reaping what we have sown during last three decades.
He said that attack in the mosque might be reaction to the drone attacks in the tribal areas as according to him no independent nation could tolerate foreign attacks on its soil. Asfandyar Wali Khan contended that majority of the tribal people were peace loving and not extremists. He argued if tribesmen were involved in peace talks, no question arises of its failure.
In reply to a question, the ANP leader said, most of the attackers have been fed here and the country was facing the brunt of the previous wrong policies pursued from time to time. He warned that we will face the same trouble if we did not expel the foreigners from our soil.
The NWFP Governor, Owais Ahmed Ghani has strongly condemned the suicide attack on a Mosque in Khyber Agency on Friday, describing it a barbaric and cowardly act of terrorism. He has also expressed his deep shock and grief over the loss of precious lives and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families. In a condolence message, the Governor said the targeting the innocent worshippers in a holy place like Mosque itself speaks about the barbaric and retrogressive mindset of the elements, involved in such heinous crime.
“These are the elements, playing into the hands of anti?Islam and anti?Pakistan forces, which are out to create anarchy in the society by resorting to such cowardly tactics of terrifying the people”, the Governor said and described it as “highly un?civilized and inhuman act.”
The Governor called upon the people to be exercise restraint but maintain peace and cohesion in their ranks to foil the nefarious designs of our enemies. The Governor directed the political administration to take full care of the people injured in the incident and also extend all assistance to the bereaved families.
While President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the suicide attack at a mosque in Khyber Agency. In their separate messages, the President and Prime Minister vowed that the perpetrators of such heinous crime would be brought to justice.They directed the concerned authorities to investigate into the matter. President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani also condoled with the families of the deceased.-APP