At least 33 people were killed and about 150 others were injured, most of them police officers, in Monday’s attack on a mosque inside the Peshawar police headquarters in northwest Pakistan.
The explosion occurred during afternoon prayers. It blew out the roof and one of the walls of the mosque, according to an AFP correspondent, who saw wounded people covered in blood coming out of the damaged mosque, and dead bodies being transported in ambulances.
Muhammad Ijaz Khan, Peshawar’s police chief, said that 300 to 400 people are usually present inside the mosque at prayer time.
A spokesman for the main hospital in Peshawar told AFP it was an “emergency” and confirmed the death toll had risen to 33.
Ghulam Ali, the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, told the press, “So far, 28 people have been killed and about 150 injured … Most of the victims are police.”
According to an AFP correspondent, firefighting teams are carrying out a large-scale rescue operation.
The police headquarters in Peshawar is one of the areas subject to strict procedures in the city. It houses the buildings of various intelligence agencies.
According to the police, the explosion occurred in the second row of worshipers gathered to pray. Bomb disposal teams were investigating the possibility that a suicide bomber had carried out the attack.
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