The death toll from the attack on a mosque in Peshawar’s Police Lines area a day earlier rose to 87 on Tuesday after more bodies were recovered from the attack site, a spokesperson for the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) confirmed.
On Friday, 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 outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. It later distanced itself from it.
In a statement issued today, LRH spokesperson Muhammad Asim said that all the deceased persons have been identified, while 57 of those injured were under treatment at the facility.
He added that a total of 157 injured people were brought to the hospital on Monday and most of them had been sent back home after medical aid.
Meanwhile, Rescue 1122 spokesperson Bilal Faizi told Dawn.com that a rescue operation at the blast site was under way for the past 18 hours.
Nature of blast yet to be determined
A police report issued after the attack, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said the explosion occurred inside the main hall of a mosque — which has a capacity of 300 to 350 men — located in the Police Lines area.
The locality comprises headquarters of the Capital City Police, Frontier Reserve Police, Elite Police Force, Counter Terrorism Department, Tele Communication Branch, RRF and SCU etc, it stated.
The statement said that the blast caused the roof of the mosque to collapse and a rescue operation was underway by the Pakistan Army and Rescue 1122, for retrieval of casualties.
“A severed head has been recovered from inside the debris. The use of explosives in the incident has been confirmed, while other factors are being evaluated to confirm the nature of the blast,” it said.
The report added that suicide bombing could not be “ruled out” and investigation by various teams was under way.
Funeral prayers for police martyrs offered
Separately, a collective funeral prayer for police martyrs was offered in Peshawar’s Police Lines area late Monday night with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Chief Mauzzam Jah Ansari, army officers and officials of civil administration in attendance.
After the prayers, the coffins of the martyrs were sent to their respective areas for burial with official protocol.
Speaking on the occasion, KP IGP Mauzzam Jah Ansari said that the KP police was always ready to sacrifice their lives for the protection of people’s lives and property.
“Being a head of this force, I salute the police officials who lost their lives in the deadly blast. These martyrs are our real heroes and their sacrifices will not go in vain,” he said, adding that the bereaved families would not be left alone and their welfare would be the “prime responsibility” of the KP police.
Day of mourning in KP
On Monday night, KP Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan announced a day of mourning across the province today following the deadly attack.
“The national flag will be at half-mast across the province,” he said, adding that the government shared the grief of the martyrs’ families.
Khan further assured the aggrieved families that the provincial government would not leave them alone amid testing times in the aftermath of the tragedy.
With additional input from APP
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