Another 31 injured in attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.
At least four people were killed, and 31 others injured, on Sunday when unidentified attackers hurled two grenades at a cinema in Peshawar, near the city’s historic Qissa Khawani Bazaar.
“The blasts were carried out by hand grenades,” said senior police official Faisal Mukhtar. “Approximately 90 to 100 people were sitting inside the cinema at the time of the blasts.” He told AFP that a stampede following the blasts was responsible for many of the injuries. Peshawar’s civilian administrator Zaheerul Islam confirmed the blasts, saying: “At least four people were killed and over 30 injured.” He said the injured had been shifted to the nearby Lady Reading Hospital.
The cinema was showing a Pashto film, Ziddi Pukhtun (Obstinate Pukhtun), at the time of the attack.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with the group’s Jundallah faction warning of more attacks in future. “We are requesting our Muslim brothers to refrain from visiting such places,” militant commander Ahmed Marwat told Newsweek Pakistan. “If they don’t, they should be ready to face more attacks.”
Police said that cinema houses in the city were already under threat. “The cinema owners had been told to increase their security,” said Islam. “The authorities are now investigating how the militants were able to gain entry without being discovered.”
There are currently only seven working cinema houses in Peshawar, whose decline has been accelerated by Taliban threats and the advent of videos, DVDs and the Internet.