Rawalpindi: At least 40 people were killed on Friday when gunmen stormed a mosque near military barracks in Pakistan`s garrison city of Rawalpindi, detonating bombs and shooting at worshippers, the Interior Minister said.
"There were two suicide bombers and the roof of the mosque collapsed," Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the private ARY television channel.
"According to the information I received a few moments ago, above 40 were killed and there are so many people injured."
Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said that the mosque was situated on Parade Lane, an area frequented by military officers.
"More than one terrorist attacked. They exploded bombs inside the mosque.... There were shots fired but we don`t know whether it was from the military or the terrorists," he said.
"Terrorists were killed but we don`t yet know how many."
Security forces and ambulances could be seen rushing to the scene.
"We have got reports of firing and a grenade blast in Qasim market area in Rawalpindi," a rescue official said.
"We have dispatched ambulances to the site and are setting up a communication link. There is no report about casualties."
Pakistan`s Army launched a major offensive against Taliban militants in their stronghold of South Waziristan in October. Militants carried out a series of bombings which have killed hundreds since then. In October, suspected Taliban gunmen wearing army uniforms attacked the army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
The violence comes after US President Barack Obama urged Pakistan to crack down harder on militants operating along the border area to help put down a Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.