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21 killed in twin blasts at Malakand mosques

18 May, 2013

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DARGAI: Twenty-one persons were killed and around 120 others sustained injuries in separate bomb blasts during the Friday prayer at two mosques in Bazdarra village in Palai Union Council of Malakand Agency, official and local sources said on Friday.

Local sources said unidentified miscreants had planted explosives inside Bar Jumat mosque in Bazdarra Bala and triggered the explosion when the faithful were offering the Friday prayer at 1:25pm.

"Everyone headed towards the mosque after hearing the blast. Those offering prayers at the Koz Jumat mosque also left the prayers to take part in rescue activities," an eyewitness said.When they were leaving the mosque, the explosives placed inside the Koz Jumat mosque also went off.

Deputy Commissioner Amjad Ali Khan told reporters that 20 persons were killed and 40 others injured in the twin blasts. He said explosives were fitted to time devices that went off when the villagers were offering the Friday prayer.

"Around 17 bodies and 120 injured were taken to various hospitals in Malakand," Dr Naseer at the Rural Health Centre in the area told reporters.Fifty of the injured were discharged after administering them first-aid, he said, adding that 70 seriously injured victims were shifted to the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Malakand Agency, and District Headquarters Hospital in Mardan.

Fifteen of the 40 injured, who were taken to the Dargai Hospital, were referred to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar due to their precarious condition while three victimssuccumbed to their wounds at the Dargai Hospital, he said.

Later in the evening, another injured died at the hospital, raising the death toll to 21. Some of the dead were identified as Daulat Khan, Momin Khan, Khyal Muhammad, Suleman and Rahmat Ali.

The security forces later clamped a curfew and launched a search operation in Bazdarra.It was learnt that the tragic incident happened in the faraway Bazdarra village, sited on the boundary of Buner district and being used by the militants as a route and hideaway. The area is famous in the Pakhtun folklore due to the timeless love story of Adam Khan and Durkhanai who belonged to Bazdarra.

APP adds from Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Justice (retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan condemned the blasts in two mosques in Bazdarra area of Malakand District that killed and injured innocent people.

In their separate statements, they termed the blasts as a heinous attempt to target the faithful, gathered for the Friday prayer. They prayed that Almighty Allah may rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss with equanimity.

End.

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