At least 56 people were killed and 194 injured on Friday in a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar city, 190 km from the capital Islamabad, reported Dawn.
The spokesperson of Lady Reading Hospital, Mohammad Asim, confirmed the toll. He said that some of these who sustained injuries in the blast were in critical condition.
Police and hospital officials had said earlier in the day said that the casualties could increase.
Ijaz Khan, a senior police officer, told Reuters that it was a suicide bombing. The explosion took place before Friday prayers at the mosque, located in the Kocha Risaldar area of the city.
Initial reports had said that there two attackers, but according to Dawn footage from closed circuit television cameras showed one armed man walking to the mosque.
The report said the man attacked police personnel outside the mosque and ran inside. Another man tried to stop him, but was attacked as well. The explosion took place after that.
Two police officials said that one policeman had been killed in the attack. However, Peshawar Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Haroon Rasheed Khan told Dawn that two policemen had been killed.
A witness, Zahid Khan, told AFP that he saw a man firing at two policemen outside the mosque. “Seconds later I heard a big bang,” he added.
Shayan Haider, another witness who spoke to Dawn, said he was entering the mosque when was he flung out by the force of the explosion. “I opened my eyes and there was dust and bodies everywhere,” he said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi condemned the attack. Investigations were underway, Haroon Rasheed Khan said.