Peshawar police lines suicide blast death toll rises further

Peshawar police lines suicide blast death toll rises further

A suicide bomber exploded himself during Zuhr prayers at a mosque inside Police Lines in Peshawar on Monday, martyring 44 worshippers and injuring more than 157 others including policemen.

Lady Reading Hospital spokesman Muhammad Asim Khan said: "We are receiving more dead bodies, so far we have received 44 dead bodies and more than 157 wounded."

"I am here at the scene and rescue work is ongoing," said Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Shafiullah Khan. "More bodies are being taken out. Currently, our priority is to save people buried under the debris."

Twenty-seven of the dead people were said to be policemen. The mosque's prayer leader was also among the killed persons.

While confirming the blast was a suicide hit, security officials said the bomber was standing in the first row while the Zuhr prayers were being offered. He then exploded himself during the prayers. The explosion was so huge that it completely levelled a section of the mosque and damaged other parts.

Journalists at the scene saw rescue workers carry two dead bodies away in an ambulance. Part of the mosque roof and wall structure had collapsed, and bloodied survivors were limping away from the wreckage.

"We have received dead bodies. It's an emergency situation," said Muhammad Asim Khan, a spokesman for Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, adding that at least 50 wounded had so far arrived at the facility.

Last March, an Islamic State suicide bomber attacked a minority Shiite mosque in Peshawar killing 64 in Pakistan's deadliest terror attack since 2018.

The blast was so powerful that its noise was heard miles away.

Sources said that after the explosion, the rescue officials and law personnel rushed to the venue.