On Friday February 13, five militants from the Pakistani Taliban attacked a Shia mosque in the city of Peshawar. The attack killed 19 people and wounded 45 others during Friday Prayers at the mosque.
The five militants sealed the walls surrounding the mosque and proceeded to shoot and throw grenades at the Shia congregation. Three of the militants were wearing suicide vests when they entered the mosque. Two of the militants detonated their bombs, and the rest of the militants were shot and killed by worshippers at the mosque. Nasir Durrani, the provincial police chief, told The Guardian “people here showed great courage. The grabbed one of the attackers from his neck, and he couldn’t detonate (his explosives), and he was shot and killed”.
Peshawar was the site for the deadly school massacre by the Pakistani Taliban that killed over 130 boys at an army school in December. Two weeks ago the Pakistani Taliban detonated a bomb at a mosque in the southern city of Shikharpur which is roughly 100 miles north of Karachi.
The recent attacks occurring around the country has sparked outrage from many people around the country, especially among Shia which compose between ten and twenty percent of the population. The Guardian notes that the Pakistani government has tried to quell anger around the country by lifting an informal moratorium on executions in the country and have already executed several prisoners who were previously on death row. The Pakistani government has also stepped up its campaign against the Taliban which is a part of operation Zarb al-Azb.
The Pakistani government has declared three days of national mourning to commemorate the lives of the worshipers who lost their lives.