PESHAWAR: At least seven people were killed and more than 100 injured in a bomb blast on Tuesday inside a seminary in Peshawar’s Dil Colony, Geo News reported quoting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Chief Sanaullah Abbasi and hospital officials.
Police and rescue service arrived at the crime scene and launched operations. KP Police said initial investigations revealed that the time-bomb was planted inside a bag.
There were nearly 1,000 children in the seminary at the time of the blast. Majority of the victims are children and instructors as the blast took place during classes at the religious school. According to AFP, teachers and boys as young as 7 were among the wounded.
The injured were moved to Lady Reading Hospital where at least five are in critically wounded. LRH officials confirmed receiving at least seven bodies and over 70 injured. Another 36 were shifted to Naseerullah Babar Memorial Hospital.
KP Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra also confirmed the death toll
No group has claimed responsibility of the attack. “Most of those killed and injured were hit by the ball bearings and some were badly burnt,” hospital official Muhammad Asim Khan told AFP. All of the dead were men aged between 20 and 40, he said. KP Minister Shaukat Yousufzai said Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had summoned a meeting to discuss the security situation. He revealed that Quetta and Peshawar were on threat alert following which security had been heightened.Yousufzai said the seminary staff and children were soft targets. “Terrorists always aim for soft targets. This area has been peaceful for a long time,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the incident and prayed for the speedy 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.”
Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz also condemned the attack and promised to “bury those with nefarious intentions to destablise the country”.
“My heart is heavy thinking of the innocent children and their parents,” said former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Terming it a “heartbreaking incident”, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz condoled with the victims and their families.
“Very sorry to hear about the blast & casualties in Peshawar,” wrote PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal. “Terrorists, who had been defeated, are again hitting us because Imran Khan has pitched security apparatus against the opposition instead of terrorists.”
“National Action Plan has been forgotten. Ministry of Interior is an extension of NAB.”
“Once again children are targeted,” wrote Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry. “In this war, soldiers, politicians scholars, lawyers, doctors and people from all walks of life have sacrificed their blood.”
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also condemned the incident.