RAWALPINDI (Web Desk) – At least three people have been killed and ten others wounded in a bomb-and-gun attack outside Kasr-e-Sakina imambargah on Karai Raod in Rawalpindi’s New Shakarial area, local media reports say.
Jundullah, a splinter group of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has claimed the responsibility for the attack. Speaking from an undisclosed location, spokesperson of the group, Fagad, told a local media house that the blast was to avenge the operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan.
Police officials say one of the attackers wanted to get inside the imambargah but he could not do so, so he tried to blew himself up. His suicide vest did not go off, however. Damages would have been immense otherwise, police officials add.
The attacker got wounded when he could not lob a hand grenade at the three security guards stationed at the entrance to the imambargah. In order to avoid his arrest, the attacker shot himself in the temple.
Officials of Bomb Disposal Squad have been trying to defuse the suicide vest. It is being said that the attacker aged between 24 and 25 years. His body is still intact and is being sent for an autopsy. Police officials believe he could be identified which would be a major breakthrough.
Witnesses say this attacker had been spotted in the area before. Police officials also believe his associates are still hiding in the area. A search operation is in progress.
The injured have been ferried to PIMS and Poly Clinic hospitals, where an emergency has been imposed. According to the spokesperson for PIMS, the two victims have been identified as Abdul Shakoor and Ghulam Hussain. The explosion was so powerful that it has left the windowpanes of nearby buildings shattered. Many of the injured are said to be in critical condition.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has called a report. A massive contingent of soldiers has also reached the crime site to assist the police and rescue teams.
Prime Minister Sharif, meanwhile, in his televised condemnation, vowed to wage a relentless war against terrorists. He said the day has come when all the terrorists have to be dealt with an iron hand.
President Mamnoon, PTI chief Imran Khan and Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed also condemned the terrorist attack. Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen strongly condemned the terrorist attack and called for an immediate probe and action.