Peshawar blast: Death toll reaches 88 as rescue efforts continue to pull people from wreckage

Peshawar blast

Peshawar: The death toll of the Peshawar blast that ripped the sky of the provincial capital on Monday afternoon reached 88 on Tuesday morning as a rescue operation is still underway, and debris from the mosque is being removed.

The state-run Radio Pakistan said, “According to Police Control Room Peshawar, more than 200 injured were brought to the Lady Reading hospital, out of which about 100 injured are under treatment in the hospital, and the rest have been discharged.”

According to the local administration of Peshawar, 88 people have embraced martyrdom so far in the heinous act of terrorism.

The official said that, so far, a total of 17 dead bodies and one injured person had been pulled out of the rubble, respectively. 

The bombing occurred at the central hall of the Police Lines mosque at 1 pm as the suicide bomber was standing in the front row, causing the roof to collapse on the worshippers.

The proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) took responsibility for the attack.

Day of mourning

KP Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan announced a day of mourning in the province today (Tuesday) following the heinous attack.

The national flag will be at half-mast across the province, he said on Monday, adding that the government share the grief of the martyrs’ families.

The interim CM also assured the aggrieved families that the provincial government would not leave them alone in the aftermath of the tragedy.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who also visited Peshawar shortly after Monday’s brazen attack, said the pain of the grieving families cannot be described in words.

“My message to the perpetrators of today’s despicable incident is that you cannot underestimate the resolve of our people,” he said in a statement after coming back from Peshawar. “The sheer scale of the human tragedy is unimaginable,” he said, adding that terrorism is Pakistan’s “foremost national security challenge”.

“I strongly condemn the heinous and cowardly blast that has taken place in Peshawar mosque,” President Arif Alvi said, adding that the culprits will be found and punished. “Condolences to families who have lost an innocent member and prayers for injured. Terrorism must be buried forever,” he tweeted.

Former prime minister Imran Khan said there was a need to equip police and improve intelligence gathering capacities to fight terrorism. “My prayers and condolences go to the victims’ families. It is imperative we improve our intelligence gathering & properly equip our police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism,” he tweeted.