Afghan conflict: 7 dead, 72 wounded in blast at religious school
An explosion at a religious school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar has killed at least seven people and wounded 72 others, several of them children, police and health officials say.
Hospital officials say those killed in the attack were aged between 20 and 30.
The blast occurred at the Speen Jamaat mosque, which also serves as a religious school for the local community in the city of Peshawar.
Peshawar city which is close to the Afghan border has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.
“[Students] were reading the Quran here, that is when the explosion occurred,” Peshawar police chief Muhammad Ali Khan told Al-Jazeera’s reporters near the scene.
“The initial investigation shows […] that 5 to 6kg of explosive material was used [and] that someone came here and left a bag of explosives.”
Television footage from the scene of the blast showed significant damage to the interior of the mosque’s main prayer hall, with pockmarks dotting the ceiling and debris strewn across the floor.
Hospital officials told Reuters news agency that they had received dozens of injured, many with burns.
The AFP news agency has quoted police as saying that two teachers were among the injured.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed “regret over the loss of tragic lives”, strongly condemning the blast.