West News Wire: According to police, an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar resulted in more than two dozen fatalities and approximately 150 injuries.
Over 70 injured persons had been brought in for treatment, and at least 28 deaths had been confirmed, according to Muhammed Asim, a representative for Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.
According to police officer Sikandar Khan, the mosque where a sizable crowd had assembled for prayer was the site of the explosion.
Khan continued, “A part of the structure fell, and it’s thought that numerous individuals were underneath it.
The bombing was not immediately linked to a specific person or group.
Peshawar’s police chief, Muhammad Ijaz Khan, later said in a statement on television that the capacity of the main hall of the mosque was nearly 300 and it was “nearly full” at the time of the explosion.
“We cannot at the moment confirm there was a suicide attacker but we need to conduct more investigations,” he said. “However, there is a possibility of there being a suicide bomber.”
The mosque is situated in Peshawar’s Police Lines, which is part of city’s red zone and has numerous important government installations including the Chief Minister House, Governor House, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly building.
Local news channels say that emerging reports are the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.
“The [bomber was reported] sitting in the front row of the congregational prayers inside the mosque,” it added.
Shahid Ali, a policeman who survived the attack, said the place took place seconds after the prayers started.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the bombing in a statement, and ordered authorities to ensure the best possible medical treatment for the victims. He promised “stern action” against those behind the attack.
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter to condemn the attack.
“Strongly condemn the terrorist suicide attack in police lines mosque Peshawar during prayers,” he tweeted.
“It is imperative we improve our intelligence gathering and properly equip our police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism.”
Peshawar, the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, has experienced frequent attacks.
Last March, a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in Peshawar, killing 64 in Pakistan’s deadliest terror attack since 2018. The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility for the incident.
The Pakistani Taliban, are known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, are also active in the region and has waged an armed rebellion in the country over the past 15 years.
Since the Taliban surged back to power in Afghanistan in 2021, Islamabad has accused them of failing to secure their mountainous border, allowing fighters to move back and forth to stage attacks and escape capture.