At least 17 people were martyred and more than 90 people were injured after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in Peshawar’s Police Lines during afternoon prayers on Monday.
Security officials, confirming that it was a suicide attack, said the bomber was standing in the front row at the time of the explosion.
The explosion also caused the mosque’s roof to cave in.
A spokesperson for Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, Mohammad Asim, confirmed that around 60 injured have been brought to the medical facility.
He added that the injured included police officials. “Some of the injured are in critical condition but most are stable,” said the hospital spokesperson, adding that more injured are being shifted to the hospital.
Following the bombing, the provincial health department declared an emergency in district Peshawar and asked all medical personnel to remain on duty.
Law enforcement agencies have cordoned off the attack site and have started an initial investigation.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the suicide attack and stated that the brutal killing of Muslims prostrating before Allah (S.W.T) was against the teachings of the Holy Quran.
The premier added that targeting a place of worship demonstrated that the attackers had nothing to do with religion and added that terrorists wanted to create fear by targeting those who defend Pakistan.
PM Shehbaz stated that those who fought against Pakistan would be ‘erased from the page’ and would serve as a lesson to those who shed the unjust blood of citizens.
He furthered that the entire nation and its institutions were united to end terrorism and that the country saluted its martyrs.
“A comprehensive strategy will be adopted on the deteriorating law and order situation in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,” Shehbaz said, adding that the federation would cooperate in increasing the anti-terrorism capacity of the province.
The premier further stated that the federal interior minister was instructed to provide assistance in increasing the capacity of the counter-terrorism department of the provinces, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Shehbaz also prayed for the elevation of martyrs’ ranks, patience for their families, and for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan strongly condemned the attack on the Police Lines mosque