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Terrorists returned: Suicide attack in Peshawar Police Line’s mosque

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At least 32 martyred, 147 injured in mosque suicide attack in Peshawar’s Police Lines area.The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had taken responsibility for the attack.

PESHAWAR: At least 32 people were martyred while other 147 received serious injuries when a powerful suicide blast inside a mosque in Peshawar’s Police Lines area on Monday.

According to security officials, the suicide attacker was present in the front row during the Zuhr prayer when he exploded himself, injuring dozens of faithful.

The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had taken responsibility for the attack.

Sahibzada Noor Ul Amin, Imam of the mosque, was also martyred in the blast, police said.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reached Peshawar where he is briefed on all aspects about the blast.

PM Shehbaz will also visit the injured. He will be accompanied by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.

According to rescue spokesperson Bilal Faizi, five to six people are still trapped under the rubble while one has been recovered.

“The operation is being conducted slowly. No risk is being taken. We have to save human lives, no matter if it takes time,” he said while informing about the entire rescue personnel present at the site.

He added that their first priority is to save human lives. “At this time, we have heavy machinery [for search operation]. There is hope that we will complete the rescue operation soon.”

The spokesperson said that “workers are being careful” while rescuing those suffering from injuries, particularly on the head. “We don’t want anyone to die because of us. We can also communicate through a camera.

The injured were shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital of Peshawar. The hospital has appealed citizens to donate blood for the victims.

Capital City Police Officer, Peshawar (CCPO) Ejaz Khan, while talking to media, said that it was too early to say anything as many policemen are still trapped under the rubble.

“We are currently focused on the rescue operation. We cannot say with surety but there is a smell of explosives inside the mosque,” said the CCPO. He added that headquarters of the Peshawar Police, Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Frontier Reserve Police (FRP), Elite Force and telecommunications department are also located near the blast site.

“Close to 300-400 policemen usually offer prayers at the Zuhr time. If a blast has taken place inside police lines then it is a security lapse but an investigation into the matter can reveal further,” said the CCPO.

Caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Muhammad Azam Khan imposed a medical emergency in all hospitals of Peshawar. The interim CM also instructed rescue organisations to speed up relief activities.

The CM has ordered to ensure immediate measures to transfer the injured to the hospital, directing the concerned authorities to provide timely medical assistance to the injured who are being shifted to hospitals.

Meanwhile, the provincial health department had announced a “medical emergency” in the city in the wake of the Police Lines Peshawar bomb blast.

“All the doctors and support staff in the government health facilities including MTIs in district Peshawar are directed to remain on red alert to cope with the emergencies, till further orders,” the notification issued in this regard.

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