A blast at a religious seminary in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar has killed at least eight people and injured 136 others.
The bomber struck shortly after 8:30 a.m. in front of the Jamia Zubairia religious school In Dir Colony, where about 500 students gathered to listen to a lecture by influential cleric Rahimullah Haqqani. Most of them were between the ages of 20 and 30, and some were from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan areas of Pakistan, as well as some from Afghanistan.
Waqar Azeem Kharal, a superintendent of police, said at least five kilograms of high-quality explosives were brought into the lecture hall in a bag. Ball bearings were also used in the explosives, Kharal said. “This shows that the attackers were planning large-scale killings,” he said.
Rajab Ali, Superintendent of Police of the Counter Terrorism Department, confirmed that it had been declared an act of terrorism. “It is too early to say who is behind the attack, but the way it was planned and carried out is definitely a terrorist attack,” he said.
At least two teachers were injured, a police official said.
Muhammad Kashif Nadeem, a 26-year-old student, was in the lecture hall at the time of the blast. He said the blast injured his teacher and several students in the front row, including a friend who had lost his hearing. Nadeem said he escaped after arriving late and was sitting in the back of the room.
We were taking our Qur’an recitation classes when there was a huge explosion through the pulpit [pulpit] Where our teachers were lecturing. Nadeem said. “It was so loud it broke our ears and the students in the front row started screaming when they were burned in the blast.”
“It was as if someone had placed an explosive device right next to where our teachers were teaching.”
Nadeem said that after the blast, there was confusion and students started fleeing. “As soon as the horrific explosion hit our teacher and friends, I found myself running towards the gate. We were all screaming and didn’t know what was going on but all trying to escape through the only gate of the madrassa. Were.
“I don’t know why we were attacked. I don’t know why our teacher Haqqani was targeted. Thank God he is completely safe.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the Pakistani Taliban issued a statement denying any involvement and calling the attack on a religious school a “reprehensible act.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “deeply saddened by the terrorist attack”.
“My condolences to the families of the victims and to the speedy recovery of the injured,” he wrote on Twitter. “I want to reassure our nation that we must bring to justice the terrorists responsible for this cowardly barbaric attack.” We will make sure to bring. “
The dead and wounded, along with several severely burnt people, were taken to the nearby Lady Reading Hospital, where they were placed on red alert.
Hospital spokesman Mohammad Asim said: “We have found seven bodies. Eighty-eight people have been injured and five of them have been shifted to Hayatabad Burn Center as they were badly burnt.
“Initially we had to deal with the aggression of people who lost their families in the blast but now we are in a better position.”
Dr. Siraj Muhammad, medical superintendent of the Naseerullah Khan Babar Memorial Hospital in Peshawar, said he was treating 27 people injured in the attack.
Peshawar is the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which borders Afghanistan. The province has been the scene of several militant attacks in recent years, but sectarian violence has killed or injured people in mosques or madrassas across Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks.
The latest incident comes two days after a bomb blast in the southwestern city of Quetta killed three people.
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