A suicide bomber blew himself up in a Shia mosque leaving 30 people dead and injuring 80 others at Peshawar’s Kocha Risaldar area on Friday.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Peshawar Mohammad Ijaz Khan said one police official was killed while Asim Khan.
Media manager at Lady Reading Hospital said 30 bodies had been brought to the hospital so far.
The CCPO said that according to initial reports, two attackers tried to enter a mosque in the city’s Qissa Khwani Bazaar and fired at the policemen standing guard.
As a result, one policeman was killed while another was critically injured, the CCPO said, adding that one of the attackers was killed in the gunfight.
The remaining attacker then ran inside the mosque and detonated a bomb, he said.
Police official Waheed Khan said that the explosion occurred as worshippers had collected in the Kocha Risaldar mosque for Friday prayers.
Later, talking to media at the blast site, Peshawar SSP Operations said there were two attackers but only one of them was a suicide bomber.
“Initial investigations are underway and we can share more information later,” he added.
Barrister Saif, the government spokesman, said security was provided to mosques as a “general rule”. He added that the administration had adopted security measures at this mosque as well.
“Those killed and injured in the attack would be given monetary assistance under the government’s special package,” he said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Evidence has been collected from the site, according to a tweet by the Peshawar CCPO account.
At the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) emergency department, there was chaos as doctors struggled to move the many wounded into operating theatres. The hospital has been put on red alert and more medical personnel have been called to LRH, the spokesperson added.
A medical emergency was also notified in Peshawar district with all doctors and support staff at government health facilities and medical teaching institutions directed to remain on red alert.
According to locals, the area has a number of markets and is usually packed around the time of Friday prayers.