Mosques of all faiths under attack since Sept 2001

By Sabir Shah
January 31, 2023

LAHORE: Dozens of terrorist attacks have killed hundreds of people in mosques belonging to Shias and Sunnis throughout Pakistan since September 11, 2001, although it was a Bahawalpur church that was the target of the first-ever subversive activity, resulting in 16 deaths, research shows.


On October 28, 2001, casualties in the shooting in Bahawalpur’s Protestant church were all Christian worshippers except one Muslim police officer. Here follows a timeline of some major mosque attacks since September 11, 2001:

On February 26, 2002, at least 11 Shia worshipers were killed by a group of masked gunmen at the Shah-e-Najaf Mosque in Rawalpindi.

On March 10, 2003, two people were injured when a masked terrorist opened indiscriminate fire on a mosque in Faisalabad’s Gulistan Colony.

On July 4 of the same year, at least 47 people were killed and 150 injured in an attack on a Shia mosque in Quetta.

On February 28, 2004, a suicide bomber was killed and three worshippers injured in an attack on a Rawalpindi Imambargah.

On May 7, 2004: a suicide bomber had attacked another crowded Shia mosque in Karachi, killing at least 15 worshippers. More than 100 people were also injured. One person was killed in the riots that followed the attack.

On May 31, 2004, a suicide bomber blew up the Imambargah Ali Raza mosque in Karachi in the middle of evening prayers, killing 16 worshippers and injuring 35 others. Two people were killed in riots over the mosque attack and religious cleric Mufti Shamzai’s assassination.

On October 8 of the same year, suicide bombing had left 25 people dead at a Sialkot mosque during Friday prayers.

On October 10, 2004, an explosion in Lahore had killed at least four people.

On January 27, 2007, at least 13 people, including the Chief of Peshawar City Police, Malik Saad, were killed in a suicide bombing incident at a Peshawar mosque.

On July 19, 2007, when more than 40 people were killed in three separate bomb attacks, one of the incidents had occurred at a Kohat mosque used by military personnel, killing at least 11 people.

This had marked the fourth time the Army was attacked outside conflict zone since 2004.

On December 21, 2007, on Eid-ul-Azha, a suicide bomber had again targeted former Interior Minister, Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, at Charsadda city.

The bomber killed at least 57 and injuring over 100 at Jamia Masjid Sherpao in Charsadda.

Though Aftab Sherpao survived the blast; his son Mustafa was injured.

On January 17, 2008, at least 12 people were killed after a suicide bomber had blown himself up at the crowded Mirza Qasim Baig Imambargah in Peshawar.

On June 16, 2008, a bomb blast inside a Dera Ismail Khan mosque had killed at least four people.

On September 10, 2008, more than 25 worshippers were killed and 50 others injured in a grenade-and-gun attack in a Lower Dir mosque.

On November 20 of the same year, a suicide bomber had killed at least nine people at a mosque in restive Bajaur Agency.

On February 5, 2009, more than 32 people were killed at a suspected suicide bombing incident targeting a Dera Ismail Khan mosque.

On March 5, 2009, one person was killed by a hand-grenade hurled by unidentified miscreants at another Dera Ismail Khan mosque.

On March 27, 2009, at least 76 persons were killed and over 100 injured in an apparent suicide attack on a mosque at Peshawar-Torkham Highway in Jamrud during the Friday congregation. Intelligence sources, however, had put the number of dead at 86.

On April 5, 2009, an Imambargah at Chakwal was targeted, killing at least 22 people.

On June 5, 2009, more than 40 were killed when a suicide bomber had blown himself up during Friday prayers at an Upper Dir mosque.

On June 12, 2009, a leading Sunni Barelvi cleric, Mufti Sarfraz Naeemi, was assassinated in Lahore. The suicide attacker had detonated himself at the Jamia Naeemia madrassa in city’s Garhi Shahu area shortly after Friday prayers.

On the same day, five worshippers were killed and 105 others sustained injuries when a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden van into a mosque during the Friday prayers in the Cantonment area of Nowshera.

On December 4 of the same year, at least 40 people were killed and over 86 injured when terrorists attacked a Friday congregation at the Parade Lane Askari mosque in Rawalpindi Cantonment.

Two of the terrorists blew themselves up, while two others were gunned down by the security forces. The remaining terrorists escaped and took refuge in the vicinity.

Besides 17 children, an army major general, a brigadier, two lieutenant colonels, a major and a number of soldiers were among those killed in the multi-pronged attack. This was the 19th such attack on Pakistan Army outside the war zone and eighth in near GHQ Rawalpindi since the start of military campaign against the militants in the tribal areas in 2004.

On December 18, 2009, a mosque in Lower Dir was hit by terrorists, leading to 12 deaths.

On July 1, 2010, at least 42 people were killed and more than 180 others were wounded after two suicide bombers had attacked the Data Darbar Complex and the adjoining mosque in Lahore.

On October 7, 2010, some nine people were killed after two suicide bombings at the entrance of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine in Karachi. The attacks occurred when worshippers were apparently leaving the complex after offering evening prayers.

On November 5, 2010, more than 72 people were killed and around 100 others injured in a suicide bombing at a Darra Adam Khel mosque during Friday prayers.

On August 19, 2010, a blast at a mosque in the town of Jamrud had killed few people.

On August 31 of the same year, a blast on Eid day at a Quetta mosque belonging to the Hazara Shia Community had killed 11 people.

On June 7, 2012, at least 15 people, including 5 children, were killed when a remote-controlled bomb blast had triggered off outside a madrassa-cum-mosque in Quetta.

On June 21 of the same year, another bomb had exploded inside a Quetta mosque, killing two more.

On March 9, 2013, a blast at a Peshawar mosque had killed four.

On December 17, 2013, a suicide blast outside an Imambargah situated in the Gracey Lines area of Rawalpindi had killed three people

On January 9, 2015, a time bomb planted in the drain-pipe of a Rawalpindi mosque had left eight dead.

On January 30, 2015, at least 53 people were killed due to a bomb blast at a Shia mosque in Shikarpur.

On February 13, 2015, at least 19 were killed at a Peshawar mosque by militants.

On February 18, 2015, three people were killed in an explosion at Qasar-e-Sakina Imambargah situated at Kurri Road, Rawalpindi.

And on March 4, 2022, a Shia mosque at Peshawar was targeted, resulting in 65 deaths.