Pakistan mosque attack death toll rises to 83
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes amid deteriorating security in the country.
The death toll from an explosion at a mosque in northwest Pakistan rose to 83 , authorities at the hospital that treated the victims reported on Tuesday (01.31.2023).
Muhammad Asim Khan, a spokesman for the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, said more bodies of dead people arrived overnight.
The attack occurred Monday during evening prayers in the provincial capital of Peshawar , near areas bordering Afghanistan where Islamist militancy has grown.
During the night of Monday, rescuers extracted nine bodies from the rubble of the wall and roof of the mosque.
“This morning we are going to remove the last part of the collapsed roof to be able to recover more bodies, but we do not expect to find any survivors,” Bilal Ahmad Faizi, spokesman for the rescue organization 1122, told AFP.
At least 20 of the police officers killed were buried after a prayer ceremony, their coffins lined up and draped with the Pakistani flag.
Shahid Ali, a police officer who survived the bombing, said the explosion occurred seconds after the imam began his prayers.
“I saw a black smoke go up to the sky. I ran out to save myself,” she recounted. “I still hear people's screams in my head. They were screaming for help.”
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes amid deteriorating security in the country.
The attack occurred on the day that the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was scheduled to visit Islamabad, but the trip was canceled at the last minute due to bad weather.
Pakistan is also preparing to receive a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday to negotiate a crucial loan to avoid defaulting on its debt.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack as “abhorrent”, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent his condolences for the “horrific attack”.