At Least 34 Worshippers Killed in Attack on Mosque in Police Compound in Pakistan
At least 34 people have been killed and dozens reportedly injured after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque inside a police compound in Peshawar during afternoon prayers on Monday. As soon as the explosion was reported, police, law enforcement agencies and rescue teams reached the blast site and started shifting the injured to hospitals.
An emergency situation was imposed in Peshawar hospitals after the explosion. Most of the injured were taken to the city’s largest medical facility, Lady Reading Hospital, including police personnel. More than 300 people, many of them police officers, were in the mosque at the time of the attack.
“The majority of the injured in the suicide attack are police officials, some of whom are in critical condition,” Muhammad Asim, a hospital spokesperson, told The Media Line.
The police compound area is marked as a red zone where security remains on high alert around the clock. Apart from the top officials of the provincial police, the compound also hosts the offices of the counterintelligence forces. According to a counterterrorism official, the bombing was a suicide attack and the bomber was among the worshippers, sitting in the mosque’s first row. The blast destroyed most of the mosque and it is feared that more people are buried under the rubble.
According to sources, after the Peshawar blast, security has been put on high alert in the federal capital Islamabad and the adjacent garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Sarbakaf Mohmand, a commander for the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter, though no organization has yet officially claimed responsibility for the blast.
Peshawar is the capital of North West Frontier Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which borders Afghanistan. It was once called the City of Flowers, but after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the city became a center for terrorism with frequent suicide attacks.