At least 44 persons have died and 157 injured in Pakistan’s Peshawar following a bomb blast inside a mosque on Monday, reported Dawn.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the blast was executed by a suicide bomber, reported Reuters. The Pakistani Taliban, a terrorist organisation, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The mosque is located inside a highly fortified compound that includes the headquarters of Peshawar police force and a counter-terrorism department, reported Al Jazeera. At the time of the attack, there were at least 260 persons in the mosque, police officer Sikandar Khan told Reuters.

The roof of the mosque collapsed after the blast, Peshawar Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Ijaz Khan told Dawn. Police officials are also carrying out an operation to rescue those trapped under the debris of the mosque, reported the newspaper.

“An emergency has been imposed at hospitals across the city and injured persons are being provided the best medical facilities,” Peshawar Commissioner Riaz Mehsood told Dawn.

Peshwar has been frequently targeted by terrorist groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, according to Reuters.

In March last year, a suicide bombing at a Shi’ite mosque had killed 62 persons and injured nearly 200. The Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack.

This was the biggest terrorist attack in Peshawar since October 2020, when eight students and 120 others were killed after an explosive went off at a mosque.