Pakistan: 56 killed, 194 injured in mosque suicide bombing during Friday prayers in Peshawar
ISLAMABAD (AA): A suicide bomber blew himself up during weekly Friday prayers at Jamia Shia Muslim mosque in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 56 people and injuring 194 others, authorities said.
The suicide bomber was stopped by police at a mosque in Peshawar’s bustling Qissa Khwani bazaar, but he forced his way into the mosque’s main hall, said police chief Haroonur Rashid.
In a statement to the media, Mohammad Asim, a spokesman for the Lady Reading Hospital, where the blast victims were shifted, confirmed the death toll rose to 56.
He added that more than 194 others are receiving treatment at the hospital due to injuries, with some of them in critical condition.
According to eyewitnesses, the suicide bomber was dressed in black local attire and when he approached the mosque’s front gate, he started firing, killing one security guard on the spot and injuring two others.
Inspector General Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said that it was a suicide attack and at least 150 ball bearings were used in the suicide vest. He added that the attackers were on foot when they attacked the police guards and the imambargah.
Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the attack and directed provision of immediate medical treatment to the injured, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast so far. However, in the past, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, a conglomeration of terrorist groups, claimed responsibility for such attacks.
President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the attack and expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who said it was a terrorist attack, ordered authorities to investigate the bombing.
[Photo: People carry an injured person after a suicide bomber blew himself up during weekly Friday prayers at a Shia Muslim mosque in northwestern Peshawar, Pakistan on March 4, 2022. Photographer: Hussain Ali/AA]
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