- Unidentified men use three hand grenades in attack, injure 20
- Taliban deny they carried out grenade attack
Three back-to-back explosions inside the city’s Shama Cinema on Tuesday killed 13 people and left at least 20 others seriously injured.
The multiple explosions occurred when a show of a Pashto film was ongoing in the cinema.
Subsequently, 13 people were killed whereas 20 others were injured, an official at Lady Reading Hospital, Syed Jameel Shah, said where the wounded persons were shifted by rescue personnel for medical treatment.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ejaz Ahmed said three grenades were used and up to 80 people were in the cinema at the time of the explosions.
Meanwhile, security forces cordoned off the site of attack whereas army personnel sealed the area from Shami Road. Shama Cinema is situated in the busy Bacha Khan Chowk area of Peshawar.
The blast at the cinema came 11 days after a similar attack at Picture House Cinema situated in Kabuli Bazaar area of the city.
The attack also came as negotiators for the federal government and for Taliban militants met for a second time today as part of efforts to end the bloody seven-year insurgency.
Scraps of human flesh, blood-soaked shoes and caps littered the floor of the hall after the blasts.
Akbar Khan, 62, whose left arm and left thigh were injured, said from his hospital bed that he was watching a movie when a deafening blast rocked the auditorium.
“It seemed like a hot iron rod pierced through my left arm and leg as I was hit by ball bearings,” he said. “I ran towards the gate, from where I was taken to hospital.”
Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid denied involvement. “We condemn the blast, it’s not our activity,” he told a foreign news agency.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, whose party is ruling the province, said the blasts were an attempt to sabotage peace efforts.