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20 dead as Taliban storms Shia mosque in Pakistan

20 dead as Taliban storms Shia mosque in Pakistan
At least 20 people were killed and over 50 injured when Kalashnikov-wielding Taliban suicide bombers stormed a crowded minority Shia mosque in Pakistan’s restive northwest during Friday prayers, opening fire and exploding bombs in a revenge attack, the latest in a series of sectarian violence to hit the country.

The attack comes exactly two weeks after a suicide bombing inside a packed Shia mosque in Pakistan’s Sindh province during the Friday prayers killed 61 people, including children, in the deadliest sectarian attack to hit the country in recent times.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack at the Imamia Masjid Imambargah in the posh Hayatabad area where worshippers had gathered for the ‘Zuhr’ afternoon Friday prayers and warned that today’s was the first in a series of revenge attacks. The Imambargah is situated close to several government buildings, including the Federal Investigation Agency offices. At least three explosions and gunfire was heard.

A doctor of Hayatabad Medical Complex, where the bodies and the injured were taken, said that 20 people have been killed and about 50 suffered wounds in the attack. Four suicide attackers were involved in the attack, said Shafqat Malik, chief of bomb disposal unit that defused one suicide bomber’s jacket.

Three attackers - who entered the mosque carrying grenades and Kalashnikovs - exploded their vests while one was killed by security forces, Malik said. Head of the provincial police Nasir Durrani said an attacker was killed by worshippers at the mosque.

“People here showed great courage. They grabbed one of the attackers from his neck, and he couldn’t detonate (his explosives), and he was shot and killed,” Durrani added.

The style of today’s attack bore a striking similarity to the Peshawar carnage. In a video sent by email to reporters, TTP said the attack was revenge for Pakistan’s crackdown on militants following the school massacre.
Agencies

Agencies

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