Peshawar: A powerful blast ripped through a religious seminary in this city Tuesday, killing at least eight people, mostly students. Also more than 120 others were wounded police said. Earlier the death toll in the blast was reported as five.
The blast occurred around 8:30 am at a local mosque, which also serves as a religious school in Dir Colony, while students were reading the Quran, Peshawar police chief Muhammad Ali Khan told reporters.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister’s advisor on information, Kamran Bangash and spokesman of the LRH Hospital Asim Khan confirmed that eight persons have died and 124 others injured in the blast.
“Those who spread terror will never succeed in their mission,” Bangash said, adding that the incident would be fully probed and the perpetrators will be brought to book. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast in the city, bordering war-torn Afghanistan.
A bag filled with explosive materials was kept close to wall of the seminary by some unknown person which went off, SP Waqar Azeem said. He said the bag is believed to have had an IED device that went off. An official from the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) said four to five kilogramme explosives were used in the blast.
Most of the students who died and were injured in the blast were aged between 7-11 years, the official said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the deadly blast and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
“Deeply saddened by terrorist attack on madrassah in Peshawar. My condolences go to the victims’ families & prayers for early recovery of the injured. I want to assure my nation we will ensure the terrorists responsible for this cowardly barbaric attack are brought to justice asap,” Khan tweeted.
There was a general threat alert in the Peshawar district, said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief, Sanaullah Abbasi, who also confirmed the death toll. According to police, around 40-50 students were present inside the seminary when the bomb went off.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM Mehmud Khan condemned the attack on children. He has convened a meeting to take stock of the security situation in the province. The area has been cordoned off and police teams are collecting evidence.