Death toll of Peshawar mosque blast revised down to 84: police

Published February 4, 2023
Security officials inspect the site of a mosque blast inside the police headquarters in Peshawar on Jan 30. — AFP
Security officials inspect the site of a mosque blast inside the police headquarters in Peshawar on Jan 30. — AFP

Peshawar police on Saturday revised down the death toll of the January 30 mosque blast to 84 after taking out names that were repeated in the martyrs list.

On Monday, a powerful explosion ripped through a mosque in Peshawar’s Red Zone area where between 300 and 400 people — mostly police officers — had gathered for prayers. The suicide blast blew away the wall of the prayer hall and an inner roof.

The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had initially claimed responsibility for the attack. It later distanced itself from it but sources earlier indicated that it might have been the handiwork of some local faction of the outlawed group.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department on Wednesday said the death toll in the attack increased to 101 after another injured person succumbed to his wounds.

However, the Peshawar police today said that the confirmed number of martyrs stood at 84. It said the reason for ambiguity in the initial data was the repetition of names or the names of initially unidentified martyrs still being present in the unidentified list even after being identified.

The police also released a list of the martyrs and prayed for them and their families.

“May the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police, and other institutions lead the way in fulfilling the duty of protecting our great religion of Islam and the nation,” the police said.

Pakistan has been hit by a wave of terrorism, mostly in KP, but also in Balochistan and the Punjab town of Mianwali, which borders KP. A terror attack also reached as far as the peripheries of Islamabad.

January was the deadliest month since 2018, in which 134 people lost their lives — a 139 per cent spike — and 254 received injuries in at least 44 militant attacks across the country.

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