- We now have all information regarding origins of where the terrorists came from and are going after them with full force, says PM
At least 56 people were killed and 200 injured, including children, in a suicide bomb blast in Peshawar's Kocha Risaldar area, Aaj News reported on Friday. Reports indicate the explosion took place in a mosque near the imambargah during the time of Friday prayers.
Witnesses said gunfire could be heard prior to the explosion. As per Peshawar police, two men tried to enter a mosque and fired at the security personnel standing guard. As a result, one policeman was martyred while the other was injured. Following this, one of the attackers blew himself up.
Speaking to the media, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) government spokesman Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif first said at least 30 people have been killed in the suicide bombing. However, the spokesman later said the death toll had risen to 56 with 200 injured taken to the hospital already.
Kocha Risaldar is near Qissa Khawni Bazar, where several terrorist incidents have occurred in the past.
PM says govt has information regarding 'origins of where terrorists came from'
In a late-night development after the bomb blast, Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet that he has been monitoring operations and coordinating with Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and intelligence agencies.
“Have personally been monitoring operations and coordinating with CTD and agencies in the wake of the cowardly terrorist attack on Peshawar Imambargah,” the premier said on Twitter.
“We now have all information regarding origins of where the terrorists came from and are going after them with full force,” he added.
Earlier, police and rescue teams arrived at the scene soon after the incident and shifted the injured to Lady Reading Hospital. An official of the Lady Reading had earlier said 30 bodies had been brought to the hospital so far.
Preliminary investigations indicated five to six kilogrammes of explosives were used, which resulted in the high-intensity of the blast.
KPK CM calls emergency meeting
Meanwhile, KPK Chief Minister Mahmood Khan also called a meeting on security.
The KPK IGP, chief secretary, home secretary and other provincial officials were also due to attend the meeting to discuss peace and security situation in the province.
Meanwhile, the prime minister strongly condemned the terror attack and also summoned a detailed report.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid also condemned the attack, saying he had directed the provincial chief secretary and inspector general of police to submit a report. He further said that this attack is a bid to destabilise Pakistan under a planned conspiracy.
"Heart-wrenching terrorist incident in Peshawar in which so many precious lives have been lost. Words can't adequately condemn the sheer brutality," Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif tweeted.
Rise in attacks
Pakistan has seen an increase in attacks in recent months with several terrorism-related incidents being reported.
On Wednesday, at least three police personnel were killed, and 18 people injured in a blast on Quetta's Fatima Jinnah Road.
The blast occurred near a stationed police mobile.
Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo strongly condemned the incident.
“Cowardly terrorists targeted innocent citizens in a terrorist attack,” he said in a statement.
“Efforts are being made to disrupt peace in Quetta and the province under a planned and well-thought-out conspiracy.”