Pakistan mosque blast death toll on the rise, rescue efforts ongoing
Peshawar mosque blast death toll increases to 61 as police chief confirms more remain under the rubble.
The death toll from the attack that targeted a mosque in Pakistan has increased to 61, according to Muhammad Asim Khan from Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital, who also noted that the number of wounded has reached 150 people.
Regarding the final death toll, government official Shafiullah Khan noted that the toll is still expected to increase, given that bodies are still getting pulled from under the rubble.
Peshawar police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan reckoned that typically around 300 to 400 officers attend prayers at the targeted mosque. He said, "Many policemen are buried under the rubble," adding "Efforts are being made to get them out safely."
According to Reuters, an explosion took place at a mosque in #Peshawar, #Pakistan; so far at least 19 were reported to have been killed by the blast, which resulted in dozens of casualties.#PeshawarBlast pic.twitter.com/Y3tvUDfiA3— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) January 30, 2023
Earlier today, officers said the explosion came from the second row of worshipers, and bomb disposal teams were investigating the potential of a suicide attack. Pakistan's GEO broadcaster reported that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber.
Pakistan's rocky northwestern region has long been a hotbed of insurgent activity, with successive administrations struggling to establish a writ.
Last March, a suicide bomber detonated in a mosque in Peshawar Pakistan, killing at least 35 and injuring 50 people.
In December, at least 4 people were killed and at least 15 others were injured in an explosion in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan Province.
Peshawar was also the location of a 2014 massacre by TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), which stormed a school for army personnel's children and massacred around 150 people, the majority of whom were students.