JNN 19 Feb 2015 RAWALPINDI: Three Shia Men were Martyred and several injured in an attack By a Wahabi Suicide Bomber in a Mosque adjacent to the Imambargah Qasre Sakina on Kurri Road, Rawalpindi. 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 casualties occurred when a suicide bomber Restored to firing to make his way in the Mosque , who faced tough resistance from the Guard and People Present at the gate 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 site 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 The Media Team, “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 guard Ghulam Hussain was killed.
Another eyewitness told DawnNews said the suicide bomber was about 20-25 years old and was speaking in Seraieki.
Initial reports say that the alleged bomber was unable to detonate his suicide vest, thus preventing a major disaster.
Police was deployed at the imambargah which was packed to capacity at the time of the explosion.
Medical teams and police authorities have rushed to the site to begin rescue operations.The injured have been rushed to PIMS and Poly Clinic Hospital. An emergency has been declared at the hospitals in the twin cities and doctors have been asked to report for duty.
There were also reports of firing following the attack, however, the identity of the gunmen has not been determined. The area has been cordoned off by security forces.
Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) Leader Asghar Askari criticised the government and alleged that it was colluding with Takfiri Terrorists.
“This is the fourth attack [on the Shia community]; this government is a murderous and terrorist government. We have been lifting bodies due to them.”
He alleged that the Punjab government has given support to these terrorists.
“Zarb-e-Azb should be spread to the whole of Punjab,” he said in an appeal to army chief General Raheel Sharif.
“Hundreds of thousands of Shias and Sunnis will be united in a march to the capital.”
Meanwhile, Director General ISPR Asim Bajwa strongly condemned the recent spate of terrorist attacks and called them an attempt to create divisiveness between the nation, which, he stressed, only serves the interest of detractors of the country.
Shia community under attack
This is the fourth in a series of major attacks targeting the Shia community this year.
On February 14, at least 21 people were killed and 50 others injured during a gun and bomb attack at an imambargah in Peshawar’s Hayatabad area when suicide attackers and gunmen — dressed in police uniforms — attacked worshippers offering Friday prayers.
Two weeks prior, a suicide bombing at an Imambargah in Shikarpur killed 71 people — the deadliest sectarian incident to hit the country in nearly two years.
Jundullah, a splinter group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which last year pledged support for the Islamic State took responsibility for the Shikarpur attack as well as the Peshawar imambargah attack.
The Jamatul Ahrar faction of banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed a January attack on a Rawalpindi imambargah which killed eight people and wounded 16 others.
The attacks on Shias come amid the ongoing National Action Plan (NAP) aimed at ridding the country of terrorism following the Taliban massacre at Peshawar’s Army Public School in December 2014, which claimed over 140 lives — with most of the victims being children.
The formulation of the plan – a massive operation against Terrorists and Wahabi extremists – saw a parliamentary consensus on the formation of military courts in the country as well as renewed resolve to counter religious extremism by cracking down on terror financing and regulating madrassahs.
The government also rolled back the moratorium on capital punishment following which a number of convicted terrorists have been hanged in jails across the country.
Since the government set the NAP rolling, the country has seen a number of terrorist attacks — the major ones being attacks on Imambargahs , causing Shia Casualties.
The recent spate of terror attacks, including the major terror bid at the school in Peshawar, are seen as the blowback of military operation currently underway in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
The army launched operation Zarb-e-Azb following a deadly attack on Karachi airport in June last year, after which security in the country has been on high alert.
Prior to the launch of the operation by the Military Establishment, the Political Government had restrained from any type of Operation against the terrorists as they were trying to protect them in the name of Dialogue with the terrorists who were openly challenging the writ of the Government for the Last 30 years , and Killing Innocent Pakistani Citizens , the Majority of their attacks were focused on the Shia Community . and the Successive Govts were trying to hide the Killing under the Pretext of Sectarianism , while they have taken no steps to prevent the Sectarianism and Extremist Banned Organisation , who were freely fanning sectarianism and propogating their extremist views under the very nose of Govt , as the event of Lal Masjid is a clear Proof of it.
The military has been carrying out counter-terrorism actions across the country to prevent retaliatory action by the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other Terroists groups after the launching of the Zarb-i-Azb in North Waziristan.