Children among those killed and dozens injured after explosives believed hidden in plastic bag detonate at madrassa
Guardian staff and agencies – The Guardian
A rescue worker examines remains at the site of a blast at a religious school in Peshawar Photograph: Abdul Majeed/AFP/Getty Images
A blast at a religious seminary in Pakistan’s northern city of Peshawar killed at least four people, including children, and injured dozens, officials have said.
“The blast took place in a madrassa where unknown people had planted explosives in a plastic bag,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak with media. Children were among the dead, he added.
The bombing happened while a cleric was delivering a lecture about the teachings of Islam at the main hall of the Jamia Zubairia madrassa, said police officer Waqar Azim.
“The blast took place in a seminary during a Koran class. Someone took a bag inside the seminary. At least four seminary students have been killed and 34 wounded,” Azim told AFP.
He added that the person who had brought in the bag left the lecture hall before the blast.
Several of the wounded were in critical condition, and hospital authorities feared the death toll could climb further.
Mohammad Ali Gandapur, another senior police official, confirmed the blast and details. He said two teachers were among the wounded.
No group claimed immediate responsibility for the attack.
A spokesman for the Lady Reading hospital nearby said it had received seven dead and 70 wounded patients on Tuesday, many with burns suffered in the blast.
Peshawar is the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan. The province has been the scene of such militant attacks in recent years, but sectarian violence has also killed or wounded people at mosques or seminaries across Pakistan.
The latest attack comes two days after a bombing in the southwestern city of Quetta killed three people.
With Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Associated Press