Toll from Peshawar suicide attack rises to 70
ISLAMABAD (PAN): Seventy people were killed and 120 others wounded in twin suicide bombings inside a church in the northwestern city of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on Sunday.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai told reporters more than 100 people had been wounded in the blasts that happened in the Kohati Gate neighbourhood of the city.
At least seven children and as many women were among the dead, Lady Reading Hospital Deputy Medical Superintendant Dr Iftikhar Khan said. He feared the death toll could up, as some of the injured were in serious condition.
As many as 120 people were injured in the blasts outside the St John’s Church in Kohati Gate area, Khan said of the attack that occurred soon after the Sunday service came to an end.
Peshawar Commissioner Sahibzada Anees confirmed the death toll, saying 17 of the injured were in critical condition. The wounded, including six women and four children, were under treatment, he added.
Hospital sources said they did not have the resources to deal with an emergency of this scale. Senior doctors and nurses on leave were called to cope with the situation. They confirmed receiving 55 wounded individuals.
Area resident Aftab Khan said worshipers were coming out of the church when the bomber struck. Up to 600 people were present in the building at the time of the bombings that shattered glasses in nearby buildings.
Additional Inspector General Shafqat Malik of the Bomb Disposal Squad said two suicide bombers carried out the attack. Body parts of the assailants had been found and sent for forensic examinations, he added.
Superintendent of Police Ismail Tariq confirmed the attackers opened fire at the church security guards, killing one guard and injuring the other before entering the building. The bombers detonated their explosive vests 30 apart.
Meanwhile, enraged citizens took to the streets and set ablaze belongings of the police personnel deputed at the church in the congested sensitive locality. The Council for International Religions announced three days of mourning in Peshawar missionary schools and colleges.
In the adjoining tribal region of Khyber, three rebel commanders, including a spokesperson for Lashkari Islam group, were killed when the bomb they were making exploded in the sub-district of Bara.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.