Death toll from Peshawar mosque blast reaches 100

Distraught relatives thronged hospitals in Peshawar to look for their kin on Tuesday, a day after a suicide bombing ripped through a crowded mosque in a heavily fortified area of the city, killing 100 people, mostly policemen

The attack in the Police Lines district was the deadliest in a decade to hit Peshawar and comes amid a surge in violence against the police

"My son, my child," cried an elderly woman walking alongside an ambulance carrying coffins, as rescue workers stretchered wounded people to a hospital emergency unit

The rescue and search operation was completed after 24 hours following the blast as rescue workers removed the debris from the demolished mosque, Peshawar Division Commissioner Riaz Mehsud said

  Provincial caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan had announced a day of mourning across the province

A woman reacts as she searches for her relatives after the suicide blast in Peshawar on January 30, 2023

—REUTERS At least 170 people were wounded in the blast, which demolished the upper storey of the mosque as hundreds of worshippers performed noon prayers

Read PM, COAS review security situation after Peshawar mosque blast "100 bodies have been brought to Lady Reading Hospital," spokesman for the largest medical facility in the city, Mohammad Asim, said in a statement

Asim added that 53 injured citizens were currently being treated at the LRH, seven of whom had been admitted to the intensive care unit

 According to the Police Control Room, more than 200 injured were taken to the LRH

The bodies of the martyred have been handed over after identification to the heirs of the deceased for burial

Authorities say they do not know how the bomber managed to breach the military and police checkpoints leading into the Police Lines district, a colonial-era, self-contained encampment in the city centre that is home to middle- and lower-ranking police personnel and their families

Rescue workers clear the rubble as they search for victims

—REUTERS Given the security concerns in Peshawar, the mosque was recently built to allow police to pray without leaving the area

Defence minister Khawaja Asif said the bomber was in the first row in the prayer hall when he struck

Peshawar Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Ijaz Khan said the bomber detonated his load the moment hundreds of people had lined up for prayers

An inquiry is underway into how the attacker breached the elite security cordon and whether there was any inside help

Deadliest attack in a decade The attack is the deadliest in Peshawar since twin suicide bombings at the All Saints Church killed scores of worshippers in September 2013, in what was the deadliest attack on Pakistan's Christian minority

Following the bombing, the provincial health department declared an emergency in the Peshawar district, asking all medical personnel to remain on duty and issuing an appeal for blood donations

Read More 'Terrorism is indefensible': Leaders, missions condemn Peshawar attack Later on Monday, a funeral was held at the Peshawar Police Lines for 27 martyred policemen and young men

A smartly turned-out unit of the police force presented a salute to the martyrs as their coffins, draped in the National Flag, were led to the police ground

The provincial government announced a day of mourning and a high alert had also been declared in the federal capital, the Islamabad Police said

Attacker may have arrived in 'official vehicle' Speaking to Express News, CCPO Khan said that there is a possibility that the assailant may have entered the compound in an official vehicle

"[The] CTD is investigating the case," he added

He said that 1,500 to 2,000 personnel come and go every day as there are offices of more than eight units, including FRP, Special Security Unit (SSU), Elite Force and CTD in the Peshawar Police Lines

"The assailant may have been already present in Police Lines," Khan said, adding that the nature of the explosion would be known after the rescue operation is completed

The Peshawar CCPO further said that the wall of the mosque had collapsed, causing more damage

The hall was also damaged by fire after the explosion

The hall of the mosque was old while the rest had been newly built

Date:01-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link