At least eight people were killed and over 125 injured after an explosive device in a bag detonated inside a madrassa in Peshawar’s Dir Colony on Tuesday.
Police sources reveal that around 40-50 children were present inside the madrassa when the bomb went off. The seminary’s administration said around 1,100 students study at the institution and added that students between the ages of 22 and 28 were present in the class at the time of the explosion. SP City Peshawar Waqar Azeem told The Express Tribune that an unidentified man entered the madrassa around 8am and left a suspicious school bag in the premises.
He said the bag is believed to have had an IED device that went off when the children started filling in the seminary. Assistant Inspector General of Bomb Disposal Squad (AIG) Shafqat Malik reported that 5 kilograms of explosives were used. Rescue 1122 arrived at the scene and shifted the victims to the Lady Reading Hospital. According to the spokesperson of the Lady Reading Hospital, seven bodies have been brought to the hospital so far, whereas the number of injured brought to the hospital has risen to 96.
Most of the injured are burnt, the spokesperson stated, adding that they all being given emergency care. Hospital sources stated that out of the total injured brought to the hospital around 50 are children. Tariq Burki, the director of the hospital, said four of the dead were children. Two injured students were taken to Khyber Teaching Hospital. A spokesperson for the hospital said immediate medical aid was provided to the victims and they are out of danger.
The madrassa is largely for adult students and many were studying when the blast happened, said city resident Abdul Rahim, whose said his 27-year old cousin was among the wounded. “He told us they were attending a class when the blast took place,” Rahim said.
President Arif Alvi condemned the blast at the religious school in Peshawar and offered his condolences to the family members of the martyrs and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
“May Allah Almighty grant patience to the bereaved families and raise the ranks of martyrs,” President Alvi said. Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the blast at a seminary and expressed grief over the loss of life. Condoling with the bereaved families, the PM Imran prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Deeply saddened by terrorist attack on madrassah in Peshawar. My condolences go to the victims families & prayers for early recovery of the injured. I want to assure my nation we will ensure the terrorists responsible for this cowardly barbaric attack are brought to justice asap
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 27, 2020
Condemning the blast, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said innocent students of a madrassa were targeted today. “Heartbroken over the deaths and injury of several children as a result of the blast.”
He added that the whole nation stands side by side with its armed forces and law enforcement agencies in this war on terror. “Will eradicate the monster of terrorism.”
Expressing grief at the loss of precious lives in the blast, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan strongly condemned the incident. Ordering the police to launch an inquiry immediately, the CM said that those responsible will not be able to escape the law. Special Assistant to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister on Information Kamran Bangash said the blast is a failed attempt to sabotage peace in the country.
“Those who spread terror will never succeed in their mission,” he added.
The CM further ordered rescue services and hospitals to provide immediate emergency care to those injured.