At least 59 people have been killed by a suicide bombing that apparently targeted policemen praying in a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan.
The mosque is within the tightly guarded police headquarters vicinity. Terrorists need to create worry through targeting people who perform the obligation of defending Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said.
The Pakistani Taliban denied involvement after an initial claim by using certainly one of its commanders. The group ended a ceasefire in November, and violence has been at the rise considering the fact that.
In December it centered a police station – like Peshawar, in the north-west of the country – leading to the deaths of 33 militants. A hospital spokesman instructed the BBC the death toll stood at 59, whilst 157 human beings had been injured.
Between 300 and 400 police officers were inside the region on the time, Peshawar police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan informed neighborhood media. The mosque is in one of the most closely controlled regions of the city, which includes police headquarters and intelligence and counter-terrorism bureaus.
Mr Sharif said those at the back of the attack had “nothing to do with Islam”. He delivered: “The entire state is standing united in opposition to the risk of terrorism.” The blast occurred round 13:30 (08:30 GMT) for the duration of afternoon prayers in the north-western city, close to the u . S .’s border with Afghanistan.
A video circulating on social media and proven by way of the BBC shows that half of a wall caved in. The mosque become protected in bricks and particles as human beings clambered over the rubble to get away.
Hours after the blast, BBC News witnessed a facility full of the injured, many nonetheless sporting their police uniforms. Some have been covered in burns cream, their skin crimson with burns from the explosion. Others have damaged bones from being hit by way of falling rubble.
One man said he nevertheless could not pay attention because of the sound of the blast. Another man stated he were rescued after being trapped below the rubble for nearly an hour.
The top minister travelled to Peshawar on an emergency visit, in which he will be briefed by using local officers and visit the ones wounded by means of the blast.
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UN Secretary General António Guterres condemned the attack, along with his spokeswoman pronouncing: “It is specifically abhorrent that such an assault came about at an area of worship.”
The attack on the mosque happened at the start of a key week for Pakistani diplomacy.
On Monday, the president of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, become due to go to Islamabad – even though the journey became cancelled on the closing minute because of terrible climate.
On Tuesday, an International Monetary Fund delegation is supposed to visit Pakistan as a part of the process to unencumber a bailout mortgage to prevent the united states of america from defaulting.
Last March, Peshawar was the target of another bombing, which killed dozens in a Shia Muslim mosque in the majority Sunni Muslim united states of america. In the capital Islamabad, police issued a high alert and said safety in any respect access and exit points to the metropolis were extended.
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