PESHAWAR: An explosion at a seminary in the provincial capital’s Dir Colony claimed the lives of at least seven people, with more than 70 others wounded, Geo News reported quoting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Sanaullah Abbasi and hospital officials.
Children and instructors are among the victims as the blast took place when the classes were underway at the religious school.
The police and rescue teams reached the crime scene and launched the rescue operation. According to Rescue 1122, the injured have been shifted to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) where the condition of several of them is stated to be critical.
A LRH official said that the hospital received seven bodies and 70 injured after the incident. At least five victims are critically injured.
KP Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra also confirmed the death toll.
Jhagra added that there were “patients at other hospitals, but the majority are being treated at LRH”.
He quoted the CCPO as saying it was “confirmed that preliminary onsite investigations show explosives being used”.
“Let us pray for the lives lost, and redouble our efforts to maintain the safety and security of this beautiful country, province and city,” the minister added.
KP police say initial investigation reveals it to be a time-bomb planted inside a bag.
Condemnations pour in
Condemning the incident, KP Labour and Culture Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai 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 added that 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.
Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz also strongly condemned the attack, promising to “reduce to dust those with the nefarious intentions to destablise the country”.
“Attackers on educated students have nothing to do with humanity,” he said on Twitter. “We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyrs and pray for speedy recovery of the injured.”
Terming it a “heartbreaking incident”, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz condoled with the victims and their families.
“The loss of children in particular has been devastating. It is impossible to imagine and alleviate the grief of the mothers whose laps have become barren,” she added.
PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal said he was “very sorry to hear about the blast & casualties in Peshawar” and blamed Prime Minister Imran Khan over his priorities.
“Terrorists, who had been defeated, are again hitting us because Imran Khan has pitched security apparatus against the opposition instead of terrorists,” Iqbal said.
“National Action Plan has been forgotten. Ministry of Interior is an extension of NAB,” he added.
More to follow…