At least seven people were killed and more than 100 injured in an explosion on Tuesday morning at a seminary in Peshawar’s Dir Colony. The police and rescue teams have reached the location and launched the rescue operation.
According to a representative from Lady Reading Hospital, four of the deceased were students between the ages of 20 to 25. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bomb.
“Unknown people planted explosives in a plastic bag,” said a police officer who declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to media.
Peshawar police chief Mohammad Ali Gandapur told Reuters the bomb contained up to 6 kg (13 lb) of explosives.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mansoor Aman confirmed the explosion. He said initial reports suggest an improvised explosive device (IED) was used in the explosion. The SSP further said that five kgs of explosives were used in the blast.
The blast took place at about 08:30 local time. An eyewitness told the police he saw a man enter the building with a bag of explosives shortly before the blast. It is the first “soft” target hit by suspected militants in Peshawar since the 2014 attack on the Army Public School, which shocked the world.
That attack prompted the Pakistani army to launch an operation to clear militant sanctuaries along the Pakistan-Afghan border. In November 2016, the army claimed the areas had been cleared of militants.
CCTV footage moments before the deadly blast
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Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra visited the site of the blast. Speaking on his official twitter account, Jhagra said the focus was on providing the injured the best possible treatment to increase their chances of recovery. He said the hospital administration was treating the situation professionally.
Pakistani leaders condemn the Peshawar blast
Many senior Pakistani politicians strongly condemned the Peshawar attack. Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the incident. He prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz also strongly condemned the Peshawar blast. She termed it a heart-wrenching incident. Maryam shared her views on Twitter.
She said, “The Peshawar madrasa incident is heart wrenching. The damage inflicted to students is extremely saddening. There is no compensation for the mothers who have lost their children. I pray that may Allah grant patience to the victims. I also hope that the injured recover swiftly.”
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also condemned the incident.
Netizens stand in solidarity with the Peshawar blast victims
Pakistani social media users shared their grief over the Peshawar blast. Many of the Pakistani citizens on Twitter shared their pain.
Some of the users compared the blast with the APS attack in 2014. The citizens asked the government to conduct thorough investigation against the offenders who did this crime.
A week earlier, Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Ali Shahwani said that National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) had issued a security alert for the public rallies of opposition parties in Quetta and Peshawar.
He said there was credible information about possibility of subversive activities. In September, five people were killed and two others injured in a blast in the Akbarpura area of Nowshera in K-P.
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