A blast inside a mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar, which is close to former tribal areas that border Afghanistan, has put the country on high alert.
Nearly 50 people, including police officers and an imam, were killed and over 100 wounded in a blast at a mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar.
The explosion caused an entire wall to collapse, trapping several people. Pakistan Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif called the blast a suicide attack.
The blast happened during afternoon prayers on Monday. A video shot in the aftermath of the blast shows the mosque with one of its wall and portions of its roof collapsed.
A rescue mission was undertaken immediately at the blast site. Visuals showed bloodied survivors emerging from the wreckage and bodies being taken away in ambulances.
Bodies being carried out of the wreckage. Rescue workers search for blast victims. Police officers were among those who lost their lives in the deadly blast.
“Many policemen are buried under the rubble,” Peshawar police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. He estimated that between 300 and 400 officers usually attended prayers at the mosque.
The provincial capital of Peshawar is close to former tribal areas that border Afghanistan where militancy has been steadily rising.
Following the blast, the country has been put on high alert, with checkpoints ramped up and extra security forces deployed. In Islamabad, snipers were deployed on buildings and at city entrance points.
“Terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan,” Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said.
“Those fighting against Pakistan will be wiped out from the face of earth,” he added.