Death toll from suicide bombing at Pakistan mosque rises to 88
The death toll from Monday's suicide bombing at a mosque inside a police headquarters in Pakistan's northern city of Peshawar has risen to 88, with 26 more bodies retrieved from the rubble, an official said, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
Shafi Ullah, the deputy commissioner of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, confirmed the increase in casualties and told reporters that 57 injured people remain hospitalized, 10 of whom are in critical condition.
Earlier, Muhammad Asim, a spokesman for Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, while speaking to Anadolu, put the number of casualties at 83.
Nearly 100 injured have been discharged from the hospital, he added.
On Monday, a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up during midday prayers at the mosque within the Police Headquarters in Peshawar.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an outlawed group, claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on Monday but later denied involvement in a statement posted on their website.
According to city police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan, the attack was a suicide bombing as police recovered the head of the bomber from the spot.
Several people were buried under the debris after most parts of the mosque building collapsed, so the rescue operation continued through the night.
The deceased included several senior police officers and the prayer leader.
According to police, the joint operation was carried out after the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), police, and intelligence agencies received information about the presence of militants in Hind village in Swabi on Monday.
The militants opened fire on security forces and police, but two of them blew themselves up and the third surrendered, they said, adding that two police officers were also injured during the operation.
Separately, two militants were killed in the Dera Ismail Khan district during an encounter with security forces in the Loni area on Monday.
A search operation was conducted in the area based on a tip-off about the presence of terrorists, the local Dawn newspaper reported citing unnamed sources, who also said a huge amount of weapons were also recovered from the possession of the slain terrorists.