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Over 200 people killed and injured in suicide bombing at Shia mosque, Pakistan

A suicide bombing inside a Shia mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan, has killed at least 56 people and injured 194 others, according to hospital officials. The bombing took place as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers at the Kucha Risaldar mosque in Peshwar’s old city. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

The Kucha Risaldar mosque in Peshawar’s old city is examined after a suicide attack that claimed the lives of at least 56 people. 4 March 2022. Photo: AP

Peshawar police Chief Muhammed Ejaz Khan said two armed attackers opened fire on police outside the mosque. One attacker and one policeman were killed in the gunfight, and another police official was wounded. The remaining attacker then ran inside the mosque and detonated a bomb. Later reports claim one lone attacker opened fire on police and detonated a suicide vest inside the mosque.

The bomb disposal unit said about 5kg of explosives was used and ball bearings were added to the device.

There were 150 worshippers inside the mosque at the time of the blast, and witnesses describe the floor as covered with dust, blood, and the bodies of those killed and wounded. The mosque was only place of worship for the Shi’ite community in Peshawar’s old city.

In 2022 to date (4 March 22), AOAV has recorded 16 incidents of explosive weapon use in Pakistan, causing 319 civilian casualties and 372 casualties in total. Friday’s attack was the first suicide bombing recorded in 2022 in Pakistan. Since 2011, AOAV has recorded 47 suicide bombings in Pakistan, resulting in 2,499 civilian deaths and injuries. Nearly 40% (957) of all civilian casualties from suicide bombings in Pakistan have occurred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province in which the city Peshawar is located.