PM Sharif urges unity as mosque blast toll hits 100

News Desk
Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

Ag Agencies

PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday called upon all the political forces to unite against anti-Pakistan elements as the death toll from the suicide attack at Peshawar Police Lines’ mosque hit 100.

The Prime Minister said “we can fight our political fights later”, as he urged political forces to unite against hostile elements. “Through their despicable actions, terrorists want to spread fear & paranoia among the masses & reverse our hard-earned gains against terrorism & militancy,” PM Sharif tweeted.

Condemning the Peshawar blast, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif speaking on the floor of the National Assembly stressed the need for developing national consensus to launch an anti-terror operation, adding the National Security Committee would decide about the action against terrorist organisations.

Mohammad Asim, the spokesperson for the main medical facility, Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, said about 100 bodies were brought to the facility and 53 people were under treatment. Officials said the tally of the injured stood at 221. Seven of the injured have been admitted to intensive care unit (ICU).

The police said the bombing occurred at the central hall of the mosque at 1pm as the suicide bomber was standing in the front row, causing the roof to collapse on the worshippers who were participating in the Zohr prayers at that moment.

They said the sound of the explosion was so loud that it was heard far away while gunshots were also heard after the blast.

Addressing a news conference alongside KP Interim Chief Minister Azam Khan, Inspector-General Moazzam Jah Ansari said about 10-12 kilograms of explosives were used in the blast.

He said there had been a security lapse and investigations were underway to ascertain facts. “We are checking one-month’s CCTV footage and tracking the facilitators of the bomber,” he added.

The provincial police chief said a joint investigation team (JIT) had been notified and the probe would clear everything soon. Those responsible would be identified and brought to justice, he added.

He said the attacker might have entered the premises as a guest. He added the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had denied responsibility for the attack.

Earlier, the IG said there were over 2,000 policemen in the Police Lines working with eight different departments. He said a large number of civilians visit that place on a daily basis, adding it also has family quarters. “Construction work was also going on in the locality with workers coming in and going out every day,” he added.