On 2 February 2014, two hand grenades hurled into a cinema hall in Peshawar killed five persons and injured 31. Police were reportedly not surprised – they had been warning cinemas for a while that they needed to step up security.
A stampede following the blasts was responsible for many of the injuries. Around 100 people were watching a Pashto movie when the hand grenades were hurled from back seats of the cinema and exploded among the viewers sitting on the front rows.
Peshawar is a frontline city in Pakistan’s battle against religious insurgents, who regard films as sinful. The Taliban closed down cinemas in the scenic Swat Valley in the country’s northwest which they controlled from 2007-2009.
However, speaking to a tv channel, a spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, said the banned militant outfit was not behind the attack.
Peshawar Commissioner Zaheerul Islam told the media that cinemas have been under threat since long. The district administration has time and again directed the cinema owners to ensure security and strict frisking at the entry points.
“We had informed the cinema owner about the possible threats,” Najeeb-ur-Rahman, a senior police officer, told AFP.
The Nation – 3 February 2014:
Grenade attack on Peshawar cinema kills 5
At least five persons were killed and 31 others injured in two back-to-back hand grenade attacks at Picture House cinema in Qissa Khwani Bazaar here on Sunday.
Daily Times – 3 February 2014:
Four killed in hand grenade attacks on Peshawar cinema
At least 31 injured as attackers hurl hand grenades from back seats of cinema house and fled