Death toll in Peshawar mosque suicide blast rises to 101
49 injured are being treated at Lady Reading Hospital: Seven being treated at Intensive Care Unit
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The suicide blast at a mosque inside a police headquarters in Peshawar was a targeted revenge attack, a police chief said, as rescue efforts ended with the death toll standing at 101 on Wednesday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
As many as 49 of the injured were admitted to Lady Reading Hospital. Of these 49 people, seven were in an intensive care unit, while most of the injured are stated to be out of danger. Four more injured were discharged from the Lady Reading Hospital yesterday. All those injured were being provided free treatment.
Between 300 and 400 policemen had gathered for afternoon prayers at the compound's mosque on Monday when an entire wall and most of the roof were blown out, showering rubble on officers.
"We are on the frontline taking action against militants and that is why we were targeted," city police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan told newsmen. "The purpose was to demoralise us as a force."
On Tuesday evening rescuers finally ended a marathon operation which saw them pry survivors and corpses out of the wreck of the mosque, rushing those who could be saved to hospitals.
Wajahat Ali, a 23-year-old police constable whose feet were broken in the blast, told AFP from hospital that he had "remained trapped under the rubble with a dead body over me for seven hours. I had lost all hope of survival."
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IGP Moazzam Jah Ansari told reporters that a suicide bomber had entered the mosque as a guest, carrying 10-12 kilograms of "explosive material in bits and pieces".
He added that a militant group that was on-and-off affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban could be behind the attack.
Meanwhile, Wilson Center Director South Asia Institute Michael Kugelman has made it clear that after the declaration by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan that they did not carry out the suicide attack inside the mosque in Peshawar, one should not get complacent since a militant outfit, Jamaatul Ahrar has already claimed responsibility for the attack, and the outfit is very much part of the TTP.
He goes on to say that truth of the matter is that Jamaatul Ahrar is one of the ‘most savage’ factions of the TTP, which derives pleasure from targeting mosques; something to which TTP is opposed.
Reporter: Amir Shahzad
With inputs from AFP.