Pakistan Shi'ite mosque attacked

2015-02-13 22:22
Pakistani men transport an injured girl outside a hospital. (Asif Hassan, AFP)

Pakistani men transport an injured girl outside a hospital. (Asif Hassan, AFP)

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Islamabad - At least 20 people were killed Friday when militants attacked worshippers at a Shi'ite mosque in Pakistan's troubled north-west, officials said.

The attackers struck during prayers at the mosque in the Hayatabad area of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani said.

The head of Hayatabad Medical Complex, Muhammad Imran, told dpa that 20 dead and 41 injured were taken to the facility.

At least four attackers wearing suicide vests were involved in the attack, bomb disposal chief Shafqat Malik said. Three of them were said to have detonated their vests, and one was killed by security forces.

Local police official Naseebur Rehman confirmed that the attack was over and firing had stopped.

An eye-witness told broadcaster Geo TV that the attackers, wearing police uniforms, threw hand grenades and then started firing.

Taliban militants took responsibility of the attack.

"The attack is revenge for security forces operations and the killing of Taliban," militant spokesman Mohammad Khurasani said.

The Taliban are Sunni militant who often target Shi'ites because they see them as heretics.

Shiites make up about 20% of Pakistan's mostly Sunni population.

Last month at least 60 Shi'ite worshippers were killed when a suicide bomber attacked their mosque during Friday prayers in the Shikarpur area of the southern province of Sindh.

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