An explosion left at least 25 dead and 120 injured on Monday during midday prayers at a mosque inside the police headquarters in Peshawar, northwest Pakistan, according to a latest blian obtained by the AFP from hospital and police sources.
“We are seeking further information, but the explosion took place at prayer time,” confirmed Muhammad Ijaz Khan, Peshawar’s police chief.
Part of the roof and a wall of the mosque collapsed under the blast and an operation was underway to rescue people trapped under the debris, noted an AFP journalist, who also saw two bodies be placed in an ambulance.
In March 2022, a suicide attack claimed by EI-K, the local branch of the Islamic State (IS) group, in a Shiite mosque in Peshawar left 64 dead. According to the police, the suicide bomber was an Afghan national living in Pakistan with his family for several years, who had prepared the attack in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has been facing deteriorating security for some months, especially since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August 2021.
After several years of relative calm, the attacks have resumed with renewed vigor, carried out by the Pakistani Taliban of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the regional branch of the Islamic State group (EI-K), or separatist groups Baluchis.
Pakistan accuses the Taliban of letting these groups use Afghan soil to plan their attacks, which Kabul has repeatedly denied.