Deadly Blast in Peshawar Mosque Kills 32, Injures 150: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Condemns Attack
A deadly blast inside a mosque in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar on Monday was likely a suicide attack, according to authorities. At least 32 people have been killed and 150 injured in the attack, which occurred when more than 150 people were praying, causing the roof of the mosque to collapse from the impact. The Pakistan Taliban has been blamed for the attack.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the blast, saying that those behind the incident “have nothing to do with Islam”. He added that the entire nation was standing united against the menace of terrorism and that it was imperative to improve intelligence gathering and properly equip police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism.
The former prime minister Imran Khan, whose party the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf holds the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkwa, also condemned the blast, saying in a tweet that “it is imperative we improve our intelligence gathering & properly equip our police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism.”
Local media was informed by Peshawar's police chief, Muhammad Ijaz Khan, that the amount of police personnel present in the vicinity when the explosion occurred was estimated to be between 300 and 400. An exact amount was not specified, according to Mohammad Asim, spokesperson for Lady Reading Hospital, however some of those hurt were in serious condition.
The prime minister made an emergency trip to Peshawar, where he will receive a briefing from regional authorities and meet with those injured by the explosion. The Islamabad Police has declared a high security alert and heightened security measures at all entrances and exits of the city.
The majority of the fatalities were law enforcement personnel, as the mosque that was targeted is situated within a large complex, which is also home to the police headquarters of the city. Confirmations from security and government personnel stated that the blast was caused by a suicide bomber, although no group owned up to the incident immediately.
A state of emergency has been declared in the vicinity and a perimeter has been established. On Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif travelled to Peshawar and vociferously denounced the bombing. He implored citizens to give blood to assist in the rescue of those who were injured.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan strongly condemned the attack on the Police Lines mosque and urged for better intelligence gathering and security for police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism. This story is still unfolding. Be sure to revisit for updates.
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