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April 14, 2024 12:14 am

Death toll in suicide bombing in Pakistan mosque reaches 90

Peshawar, January 31

The death toll from a powerful suicide bombing at a crowded Peshawar mosque in northwestern Pakistan rose to 90 on Tuesday after rescue teams retrieved more bodies from the debris, police said.

The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has taken responsibility for the attack which took place inside the mosque in the high-security Police Lines area on Monday.

According to security officials, the suicide attacker was present in the front row during the Zuhr (afternoon) prayers when he exploded himself. Sahibzada Noor Ul Amin, the Imam of the mosque, was also killed in the blast, police said.

“Death toll of Peshawar blast has risen to ninety as rescue operation is still underway and debris of mosque is being removed,” the state-run Radio Pakistan reported on Tuesday.

According to the Police Control Room Peshawar, more than 200 injured were brought to the Lady Reading hospital, out of which about 100 injured are under treatment in the hospital and the rest have been discharged, the report said.

The number of fatalities rose as rescue teams retrieved more bodies from the debris of the mosque in the predawn hours of Tuesday.

Earlier, Spokesperson of the Lady Reading Hospital Muhammad Asim said that 157 injured people were brought to the medical facility after the blast.

“Bodies of 44 people were also transferred to the hospital. At the moment, around 65 injured are getting treatment at the Lady Reading Hospital. Some of the injured are critical, while condition of most is satisfactory,” Asim said, adding that most people among the injured and dead included police officers.

Capital City Police Officer, Peshawar (CCPO) Ejaz Khan, while talking to the media, said that it was too early to say anything as many policemen are still trapped under the rubble.

“Close to 300-400 policemen usually offer prayer at the Zuhr time. If a blast has taken place inside police lines then it is a security lapse but an investigation into the matter can reveal further,” said the CCPO.

Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have condemned the attack.

“I strongly condemn the heinous & cowardly blast that has taken place in Peshawar mosque. The perpetrators will be found and punished. Condolences to families who have lost an innocent member & prayers for injured. Terrorism must be buried forever,” Alvi tweeted.

Shehbaz said the blast inside the mosque proves that those involved in the attack have “nothing to do with Islam.” “These terrorists are trying to instil fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan,” he said, assuring the people that the coalition government will take strict action against those involved in the attack.

PTI Chairman and ex-premier Imran Khan also took to Twitter to condemn the suicide attack.

“Strongly condemn the terrorist suicide attack in police lines mosque Peshawar during prayers. My prayers & condolences go to victims’ families. It is imperative we improve our intelligence gathering & properly equip our police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism,” he wrote.

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