At least eight people, including a policeman, were killed and 17 others injured in a powerful suicide blast near an Imambargah situated in Chitain Hatain area of the garrison city on Friday. Police officials said the security personnel deployed at the gate of the Imambargah ‘Abu Muhammad Rizvi’ located in a densely populated area intercepted a suspicious individual on a motorbike at the gate of Imambargah near the Babra Bazar at 9:20 pm.
The attacker blew himself up when the policemen tried to take him into custody, they said. About one hundred people were attending Mahfil-e-Melad at the imambargah at the time of the attack. Six people, including a policeman, lost their lives. The bodies identified were as Javed, Muhammad Haider, Qayyam Ali Shah, Aziz and Aman Ullah.
Soon after the blast police and rescue teams rushed to the area and shifted the dead and the injured to District Headquarters Hospital and Benazir Bhutto hospital. The blast was so powerful that it caused extensive damage to the houses located in the vicinity. Police and military personnel cordoned off the area and all roads leading to the blast site were closed for traffic. Several bikes and cars parked outside the Imambargah were damaged by the blast. According to bomb disposal experts, high explosives, laced with ball-bearings, were used in the attack. Security has been put on high alert in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad following the blast. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan condemned the suicide attack and sought a report of the incident from police.