Death toll from Peshawar Police Lines blast tops 100

PESHAWAR: The death toll from the suicide attack on a mosque in Peshawar’s Police Lines area a day earlier rose to 100 on Tuesday after more bodies were recovered from the attack site. Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) spokesperson Mohammad Asim said that 100 dead bodies had been brought to the medical facility. In a statement, he said 53 injured citizens were currently being treated seven of whom had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).
He said that most of the injured were out of danger, adding that all the injured were being provided medical facilities free-of-cost.
On Monday, 59 people, mostly police officials, were martyred and over 150 were injured after an explosion ripped through a mosque in Peshawar’s Red Zone area. The powerful blast blew away the wall of the prayer hall and an inner roof.
The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. It later distanced itself from it but sources earlier indicated that it might have been the handiwork of some local faction of the outlawed group.
Peshawar Division Commissioner Riaz Mehsud said that the rescue and search operation at the blast site has been completed, after almost 24 hours.
Earlier, Rescue 1122 spokesperson Bilal Faizi had said that rescue teams were removing the last part of the collapsed roof of the mosque. “But we are not hopeful of reaching any survivors.”
Peshawar police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan said that more than 90 per cent of the victims were policemen, between 300 and 400 of whom had gathered in the compound’s mosque for prayers.
Wajahat Ali, a 23-year-old police constable who survived, said that he had lost all hopes for survival. “I remained trapped under the rubble with a dead body over me for seven hours,” he told media.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, meanwhile, called on all political forces to unite against anti-state elements in the aftermath of the attack.
“Through their despicable actions, terrorists want to spread fear and paranoia among the masses and reverse our hard-earned gains against terrorism and militancy. My message to all political forces is one of unity against anti-Pakistan elements. We can fight our political fights later.” –Agencies