No fewer than 50 people were killed and another 30 injured yesterday in a suicide bombing in north-western Pakistan.
The attack was carried out by two armed men who rode to the mosque in Peshawar on a motorcycle, opening fire when the police tried to stop them.
One of them pressed into the mosque where worshippers had gathered for the Jumat prayers before detonating his suicide vest.
“We have retrieved around 50 bodies and more than 80 injured people from the rubble,” said rescue service official Bilal Faizi.
The death toll might rise as more than a dozen of those injured were in critical condition, said Mohamed Asim, spokesman for the city’s biggest Lady Reading Hospital, where most victims were brought.
Rescuers, police and volunteers had completed the search, Faizi said.
The mosque was located in a densely-populated Shiite neighbourhood in the centre of city and most victims were Shiite Muslims.
An eyewitness who was inside the hall told Pakistan’s Dunya television he saw two young men running into the compound and started firing shots randomly before the explosion.
“They shouted Allah-o-Akbar and a huge explosion occurred. There was smoke and screams all over.