A suicide bomber set off a bomb inside a Shia Muslim mosque in Peshawar during Friday prayers, killing at least 56 worshippers and wounding 195 people, hospital officials have said.
No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, but both the Islamic State group and the Pakistani Taliban have carried out similar attacks in the past in the area. Peshawar is very close to the border with Afghanistan.
Many victims had been hit by shrapnel, several had limbs amputated and others were injured by flying debris, according to the spokesman at Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, Asim Khan.
Peshawar Police Chief Muhammed Ejaz Khan said the violence started when an armed attacker opened fire on police outside the mosque in Peshawar’s old city, according to AP News. One policeman was killed in the gunfight and another police officer was wounded. The attacker then ran inside the mosque and detonated his suicide vest.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the bombing.