Country in shock as Peshawar Police Lines mosque blast leaves 59 dead, many injured
Police officials have cordoned off the area
PESHAWAR (Dunya News) – At least 59 people were martyred and more than 150 others suffered injuries as a blast ripped through the Police Lines mosque in Peshawar.
Security officials said the explosion took place around 1:40pm as Zuhr prayers were being offered as a result of which the roof of the mosque caved in. The blast said to be perpetrated by a suicide bomber took place at the mosque where a large number of people had gathered for prayer, police official Sikandar Khan said. "A portion of the building had collapsed and several people are believed to be under it," Mr Khan added.
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Police and rescuers shifted the injured to the Lady Reading Hospital and other health facilities. The authorities, who are still assessing the nature of the blast, immediately cordoned off the area.
Videos and pictures shared by social media users show horrific scenes as the injured drenched in blood were shifted to medical centres for first aid.
The KP health department announced a “medical emergency” in Peshawar in the wake of the blast.
“All the doctors and support staff in the government health facilities in Peshawar are directed to remain on red alert to cope with the emergencies, till further orders,” says a notification issued in this regard.
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PM Shehbaz Sharif
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the blast which, he said, proved that those involved in the attack had “nothing to do with Islam.”
“These terrorists are trying to instill fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan,” he said, assuring the people that the coalition government would take strict action against those involved.
FM Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, condemning the incident, said the terrorists, their backers and facilitators would be given exemplary punishment. Terror incidents before general and by-elections were not without motive, he added.
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the suicide attack was the "worst form" of terrorism. "The aim of such brutal and cowardly attacks is to weaken the nation’s resolve against terrorism, but this resolve will be strengthened by every drop of blood and martyrdom," said the minister.
Soon after the blast, PTI Chairman Imran Khan took to Twitter to condemn the attack.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 30, 2023
Asif Ali Zardari
Former president Asif Ali Zardari also condemned the attack and expressed concern over rising terrorism threat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said the government should end the nurseries of terrorism by following the national action plan.
Former KP CM Mahmood Khan
Former provincial chief minister Mahmood Khan strongly condemned the incident, saying the blast was very "heartbreaking".
"The loss of lives is extremely upsetting," said Mr Khan while praying for the martyrs and for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Meanwhile, former human rights minister Shireen Mazari termed the bomber’s “access to a central area of the provincial capital” as another “intel failure”.
“Our police are frontline defenders against terrorists, especially in urban areas and need better resources, including equipment,” she added.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) January 30, 2023
Security high alert in Islamabad
Islamabad Inspector General of Police Dr Akbar Nasir Khan issued directions for a “security high alert” to be placed in the capital, a tweet by the Islamabad Police said. It said the security at all entry and exit points of the city had been increased and monitoring was being done through the “Safe City” system.
Police added that snipers had been placed at “important points and buildings” and police were provided with thermal imaging facilities.