56 killed, nearly 200 injured as casualties from Pakistan's mosque blast rise

World Materials 5 March 2022 02:57 (UTC +04:00)

At least 56 people were killed and nearly 200 others injured in a mosque blast in Pakistan's northwest Peshawar city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Friday, according to hospital and police officials, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

Muhammad Asim, a spokesperson for the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar where all the injured have been shifted, confirmed the casualties to Xinhua, saying that more than 195 people are injured.

Several among the injured are in critical condition, he said, adding that a state of emergency has been declared as the injured are being provided with medicines and blood on an emergency basis at the hospital.

Haroon Rasheed, senior superintendent of police operations of Peshawar, told Xinhua that two terrorists tried to enter the mosque and engaged in an exchange of fire with the police personnel on duty there. One policeman was killed and another was seriously injured before the huge explosion occurred.

Following a preliminary investigation, the official said it was a suicide bombing targeting civilians.

Condemning the terrorist attack, Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said that there was no threat alert issued for the attack.

He termed the attack a bid to destabilize Pakistan under a planned conspiracy, saying some foreign forces are trying to ruin peace in Pakistan.

Eyewitness Mushtaq Khan told Xinhua that a large number of worshippers were present in a two-floor building of the mosque when the blast happened during prayers.

"Following the blast, there were bodies strewn all over the place and people were crying for help ... It was the most massive explosion that I have ever seen in my life," Khan said.