The death toll from the suicide blast that ripped through a mosque on Monday afternoon in Pakistan's northwest provincial capital of Peshawar rose to 47.
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Muhammad Asim, spokesperson for the Lady Reading Hospital, said the death toll rose after some of the wounded succumbed to their injuries and some more bodies were recovered from the debris of the mosque that collapsed following the blast. At least 157 injured people are still under treatment, out of whom 12 to 15 are in critical condition.
The deceased included police officers and other police personnel, civilians, a prayer leader and a woman who was residing near the mosque. Several victims have not been identified yet.
Muhammad Ijaz Khan, capital city police officer of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, said that around 300 people were praying in the mosque. The powerful blast damaged a portion of the mosque building, which caved in and trapped many worshippers.
The Police Lines is located in Peshawar's most sensitive area of cantonment where a large number of law enforcement agencies, including Frontier Corps, the counter-terrorism department of KP police, are situated.
The target of the suicide bomber was the police personnel. The bomber managed to sneak into the highly sensitive area before blowing himself up in the mosque. Following the explosion, the provincial health department declared an emergency in district Peshawar.
Security forces condoned off the area and launched a full-fledged investigation into the incident. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast, saying the entire nation was standing united against the menace of terrorism.
"Terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan," he said, adding that a comprehensive strategy will be adopted to counter the deteriorating law and order situation in KP and the federal government will help provinces increasing their anti-terrorism capacity. No group has claimed responsibility for the deadly bombing yet.