PESHAWAR: The death toll from the Peshawar mosque blast has reached 93 after rescue crews recovered 17 more bodies from the wreckage.
According to security sources, the explosion occurred at 1:40 pm on Monday during Zuhr prayers, causing the mosque’s roof to crumble in. The rescue operation to recover the victims is still ongoing at the mosque site.
Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) spokesperson Muhammad Asim has confirmed the number of victims, adding that roughly 93 people were slain and 221 people got wounded in the ‘suicide blast’.
Day of mourning
After the barbaric incident, KP interim chief minister Muhammad Azam Khan has declared today (Tuesday) to be a day of mourning in the province.
“The government shares the sadness of the martyrs’ families,” he added, that the national flag would be flown at half-mast throughout the province.
The province government would not abandon the hurt family in the wake of the tragedy, the interim CM reassured the relatives.
The incident was claimed by the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
According to authorities, Sahibzada Noor Ul Amin, the mosque’s Imam, was also martyred in the bomb.
PM Shehbaz pays a visit to Peshawar
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also arrived in Peshawar and was briefed on the details of the blast.
He also paid visits to the injured at the city’s Lady Reading Hospital. He was accompanied by General Asim Munir, Chief of Army Staff, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.
After being questioned by Prime Minister Shehbaz about the mosque incident, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police Moazzam Jah Ansari stated that “investigations are underway” into how the attack occurred and how the terrorist accessed the area.
“We don’t know where the attacker came from or how he got in,” Ansari said as he briefed the prime minister.
The police chief further added that “there are family quarters inside the Police Lines and the attacker could be already residing in the area”.
The injured were taken to Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital. Citizens have been asked to give blood to the victims by the hospital.
While speaking to the media, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ejaz Khan stated that it was too early to say anything because many police officers were still buried under the rubble.
“We are currently concentrating on the rescue mission. We cannot be certain, but there is a strong odor of explosives within the mosque “The CCPO stated. He went on to say that the headquarters of the Peshawar Police, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), the Frontier Reserve Police (FRP), the Elite Force, and the telecommunications department are all close to the blast location.
“During Zuhr, approximately 300-400 police officers regularly perform prayers. If a blast occurs inside police lines, it constitutes a security breach, but additional inquiry may find more “The CCPO stated.
Declared medical emergency
Muhammad Azam Khan, caretaker Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), declared a medical emergency in all Peshawar hospitals. The temporary CM also directed rescue organizations to expedite relief efforts.
The CM has directed that immediate measures be taken to convey the injured to hospitals, as well as that the injured who are being shifted to hospitals receive timely medical attention.
Meanwhile, the provincial health department declared a “medical emergency” in the city following the Police Lines Peshawar bombing.
“All doctors and support staff at government health facilities, including MTIs, in district Peshawar are advised to remain on red alert to deal with emergencies till further orders,” according to the announcement.
PM Shehbaz fiercely condemned the blast, saying it demonstrated that those involved in the act had “nothing to do with Islam.”
“These terrorists are attempting to instill fear by targeting those who perform the job of defending Pakistan,” he said, promising the public that the coalition government will take harsh action against those responsible.
پولیس لائنز پشاور میں دھماکہ۔— Chief Minister KP (@KPChiefMinister) January 30, 2023
نگران وزیراعلی خیبر پختونخوا محمد اعظم خان کی پشاور کے بڑے ہسپتالوں میں ایمرجنسی نافذ کرنے کی ہدایت۔
وزیراعلی محمد اعظم خان کی ریسکیو اداروں کو امدادی سرگرمیاں تیز کرنے کی ہدایت
I strongly condemn the heinous & cowardly blast that has taken place in Peshawar mosque. The perpetrators will be found and punished.— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) January 30, 2023
إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون
Condolences to families who have lost an innocent member & prayers for injured. Terrorism must be buried forever.
چیئرمین پیپلزپارٹی اور وزیر خارجہ بلاول بھٹو زرداری کی پشاور میں خودکش حملے کی مذمت— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) January 30, 2023
ضمنی اور عام انتخابات سے قبل دہشتگردی کے واقعات معنی خیز ہیں، بلاول بھٹو زرداری
دہشتگردوں ،ان کے سرپرستوں اور
سہولت کاروں کے خلاف سخت کاروائی ہوگی ، بلاول بھٹو زرداری @BBhuttoZardari
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.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 30, 2023