At least 59 people have been killed after an explosion hit a mosque in Peshawar city, Pakistan.
About 157 worshippers were also injured in the deadly incident, media report said on Monday.
Reports on Monday showed that the explosion appeared to target security operatives as the mosque is within an area also housing a police headquarters area.
According to Dawn, local news site, police officials said the incident was a suicide attack.
CCTV footage released later in the day showed a lone attacker approaching the mosque on foot and brandishing a pistol.
The report added that the attacker opened fire on police personnel deployed outside the main entrance for security before running inside.
He then opened fire on a man who tried to stop him and managed to enter the mosque, where worshippers had gathered for prayers, after which an explosion took place.
Riaz Mehsood, police commissioner, said a rescue operation was ongoing inside the mosque as a number of people were buried under the rubble.
“An emergency has been imposed at hospitals across the city and injured persons are being provided the best medical facilities,” Mehsood said.
Muhammad Khan, a police official, said the roof of the mosque collapsed after the blast.
He added that the main hall of the mosque — which had a capacity of 250 to 300 people — had collapsed but the rest of the building was still intact.
Videos on social media also showed the impact of the blast as parts of the mosque had collapse.
Explosion reported inside a mosque at Peshawar in Pakistan near Police lines. Over 17 killed and 90 injured. pic.twitter.com/I3O8OdLRoA
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) January 30, 2023
Khan said between 300 to 400 police personnel were present in the area at the time of the blast.
No group has said it carried out the attack, but reports have attributed the incident to the Pakistan Taliban.
Last March, Peshawar was the target of another bombing, which killed dozens in a Shia mosque.
Imran Khan, former prime minister of Pakistan, expressed his condolences, adding that a full investigation into the attack had commenced.
Have personally been monitoring operations & coordinating with CTD & Agencies in the wake of the cowardly terrorist attack on Peshawar Imambargah. We now have all info regarding origins of where the terrorists came from & are going after them with full force.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 4, 2022
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