Unknown terrorists attacked Pakistan’s Rehmani and Afghanistan’s Isteghfar mosques around Friday prayers, killing four worshippers, including one of the religious clerics, and injuring 35 others during Ramadan, the ongoing holiest month for Muslims.
“Those who make innocent people the target of terrorism in this blessed month and on this blessed day deserve a severe punishment,” Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, the chief minister of Pakistan’s largest province of Balochistan, told Pakistan’s Dawn.
Unnamed terrorists targeted the Rehmani mosque close to the Friday prayer time in the Balochistan provincial capital of Quetta, killing three people and wounding 19 others, Dr. Saleem Abro, the civil hospital medical superintendent, told Dawn.
The news outlet added:
The injured were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema confirmed the casualties and said that the attack was carried out through an improvised explosive device (IED). According to Cheema, the blast occurred before Friday prayers started.
Via Twitter, Shehryar Afridi, the state minister for States and Frontier Regions, denounced the attack, writing:
Another nefarious act by Evil forces in Quetta. Even in Ramadan they choose to target civilians praying in a [mosque]. It is so painful & astonishing to see that evil forces are targeting innocent civilians. Our resilience will not be shaken by such coward acts ever Inn Shaa Allah:
Another nefarious act by Evil forces in Quetta. Even in Ramadan they choose to target civilians praying in a Masjid. It is so painful & astonishing to see that evil forces are targeting innocent civilians. Our resilience will not be shaken by such coward acts ever Inn Shaa Allah.
— Shehryar Afridi (@ShehryarAfridi1) May 24, 2019
Alyani condemned that blast and urged the city to step up security.
Similar to the mosque bombing in neighboring Afghanistan, no group or person has claimed responsibility for the attack in Balochistan yet.
Pakistan’s deputy inspector general noted that Islamabad is currently providing security to less than 20 percent (100) of the 618 mosques in and around the Quetta region, adding that the government deployed 1,500 police officers across the city.
Kabul, considered one of the most heavily protected areas of Afghanistan, did not prove immune to Ramadan-inspired terrorist attacks.
“An explosion ripped through a mosque in Kabul city earlier this afternoon killing one person and injuring at least 16 others,” Khaama Press (KP) reported.
Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior, explained that the attackers targeted the Isteghfar Mosque.
KP learned from the spokesman that religious cleric Mawlavi Rehanand was the only one to die from the explosion. The terrorists also injured at least 16 others.
Though no group or individual claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks, the growing Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), the Afghan Taliban, and al-Qaeda are known to operate in the region.
According to the Pentagon, the Pakistan-Afghanistan region is home to the largest concentration of terrorist groups in the world. The Taliban rejected a U.S.-backed Ramadan ceasefire with the Afghan government.
Terrorist groups, primarily the Taliban, control or contest about half of Afghanistan. The Taliban remains the most prominent narco-jihadi group controlling more territory now than during any other time since U.S. troops ousted its regime in late 2001.
Some analysts believe the ISIS jihadis who fled Iraq and Syria are going to Africa, South Asia, and even the Philippines.
This year, Ramadan began at sunset on May 5 and is expected to carry into sundown on June 4.
Most Muslims follow the peaceful Ramadan tradition of abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, having sex, and other physical needs each day, starting from before the break of dawn until sunset. Some Islamists, however, urge their supporters to escalate attacks, asserting that martyrdom and jihad are doubly rewarded in paradise during the holy month.
A spike in Islamic terrorist attacks tends to occur during the holy month. Breitbart News has determined that in the first two weeks, May 6 through May 19, jihadis killed 364 and wounded 404, totaling 768 casualties during the first two weeks of the holy month.
The mosque attack in Balochistan marks the fifth assault since the beginning of Ramadan, Dawn pointed out.