Suicide bomber kills at least 47 in Pakistan mosque

Suicide bomber kills at least 47 in Pakistan mosque

Police officers clear the way for ambulances after a suicide bombing (Muhammad Sajjad/AP)

A suicide bomber has struck a crowded mosque inside a police compound in Pakistan, causing the roof to collapse and killing at least 47 people and wounding more than 150 others, officials said.

Saddique Khan, a senior police official in Peshawar, said no one has immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Soldiers and police patrol the area (Muhammad Sajjad/AP)

The Pakistani Taliban have been blamed for similar suicide attacks in the past.

The bomber struck inside the mosque where about 150 people were praying on Monday morning, according to police officials and witnesses.

There are fears the death toll will rise as many of the wounded were in a critical condition.

The impact of the explosion caused the roof of the mosque to caved in, which injured many of the worshippers including policemen from nearby offices, according to Zafar Khan, a local police officer.

A survivor, 38-year-old police officer Meena Gul, said he was inside the mosque when the bomb went off. He said he could hear cries and screams after the bomb exploded.

Rescuers tried to remove mounds of debris from the mosque grounds and get to worshippers still trapped under the rubble, police said.

Peshawar is the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan and has been the scene of frequent militant attacks.

The Pakistani Taliban, are known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, and are a separate group but also a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in neighbouring Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and Nato troops were in the final stages of their pullout from the country after 20 years of war.

The TTP has waged an insurgency in Pakistan over the past 15 years, fighting for stricter enforcement of Islamic laws in the country, the release of their members who are in government custody and a reduction of Pakistani military presence in the country’s former tribal regions.

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