A blast inside a mosque shook Peshawar’s Police Lines area on Monday, with officials saying that at least 44 people were martyred and more than 140 were injured.
According to security officials, the suicide attacker was present in the front row during the prayers when he exploded himself, injuring dozens of faithful offering Zohr prayers.
Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Shafi Ullah Khan confirmed that 25 people have been martyred and at least 120 have been injured in the suicide attack.
The injured were shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital of Peshawar. The hospital has appealed to the citizens to donate blood for the victims.
Medical emergency declared
Caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Muhammad Azam Khan imposed a medical emergency in all hospitals of Peshawar. The interim CM also instructed rescue organisations to speed up relief activities.
The CM has ordered to ensure immediate measures to transfer the injured to the hospital, directing the concerned authorities to provide timely medical assistance to the injured who are being shifted to hospitals.
Meanwhile, the provincial health department had announced a “medical emergency” in the city in the wake of the Police Lines Peshawar bomb blast.
“All the doctors and support staff in the government health facilities including MTIs in district Peshawar are directed to remain on red alert to cope with the emergencies, till further orders,” the notification issued in this regard.
An eyewitness told the media that he was going to the mosque when the explosion took place.
“It was a powerful explosion. There was smoke everywhere after the blast," said the eyewitness. He added that when got conscious he saw the roof of the mosque collapsed.
"There were at least 120 people in the mosque when the incident took place. It was a suicide blast because the bomber was inside the mosque's inner courtyard. The Zohr prayers had just started when it happened. There were mostly policemen among the injured," said the eyewitness.
President of the Civil Secretariat Association Peshawar Tassavur Iqbal, who regularly prays at the mosque, said that the Police Lines area's security is always high and no one can enter without showing their identity and body search.
"This is an unfortunate incident that took place here today. This is a big mosque and 400-500 people can offer prayers at a time. We are hearing that the building collapsed after the blast," said Iqbal.