The explosion in a mosque that also operates as a religious school killed eight people and injured at least 109 others.
The blast occurred on Tuesday at 8:30am local time (3:30 GMT) at the Speen Jamaat mosque, which also acts as a religious school for the local community in the Dir Colony section of the capital, a police officer told Al Jazeera shortly after the blast. 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.
At the time of the explosion, there were nearly 1,000 children in the seminary. The bulk of casualties are children and teachers, when the explosion happened during religious school lectures. Among the injured were teachers and boys as young as 7, according to AFP.
Injured people were admitted to the Lady Reading Hospital, where at least five were seriously injured. LRH officials reported that they had received at least seven bodies and more than 70 wounded. Another 36 were transferred to the Memorial Hospital of Naseerullah Babar.
“Some of those killed and wounded were struck by ball bearings and some were seriously burned,” Muhammad Asim Khan, a hospital official, told AFP. All the dead were men who were between the ages of 20 and 40, he said.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has held a meeting to address the security situation, KP Minister Shaukat Yousufzai said. He disclosed that Quetta and Peshawar were on a danger warning after which protection was improved.
President Arif Alvi said that blast was “shocking and saddening for all of us”. He called for the “heinous criminal terrorists” to be apprehended and given exemplary punishment.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “deeply saddened by the terrorist attack”. “My condolences go to the victims’ families and prayers for early recovery of the injured,” he tweeted. “I want to assure my nation we will ensure the terrorists responsible for this cowardly barbaric attack are brought to justice as soon as possible.”
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.
Special Advisor to KP CM on Information Kamran Bangash regretted the incident and said the injured will be provided all medical facilities. “This is the second biggest terrorist attack after the APS tragedy.”
“My heart is heavy thinking of the innocent children and their parents,” said former premier Nawaz Sharif.