Suicide bombing in Peshawar leaves 19 dead, 80 critically injured: Report
At least 19 people were killed and more than 80 injured on Monday afternoon following a suicide bomb attack in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar near the border with Afghanistan, officials said. The explosion took place at nearly 1:40 pm inside a mosque near the police lines area, and there were almost 260 people inside during the blast, Reuters cited police as saying.
A large number of people had gathered at the mosque for the afternoon prayers, said police official Sikandar Khan, adding one side of the building had collapsed due to the impact of the blast, and several people are believed to be under it.
“We have received dead bodies. It’s an emergency situation,” a spokesman for the main hospital in the city, Muhammad Asim Khan, informed.
The suicide attacker was reportedly present in the front row as Zuhr prayers were being offered when he blew himself up, India Today reported, mentioning PTI and Geo News. However, according to Dawn.com, it’s still not clear whether it was a suicide attack or a bomb was planted in the building. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast yet, the news agency reported.
The area has been cordoned off and an emergency has been imposed in the locality.
According to officials, those injured were rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital in the city. 13 of those injured, hospital sources mentioned, were in critical condition.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack in a statement issued later in the day, adding the attackers “have nothing to do with Islam.” Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called party workers and position-holders to donate their blood to save the lives of the injured.
Meanwhile, Shireen Mazari, who served as the Federal Minister for Human Rights from 20 August 2018 to 10 April 2022, has called the attacker’s “access to a central area of the provincial capital” another “intel failure”.