Tue | Mar 28, 2023

Suicide bomber kills 34, wounds 150 at mosque in Pakistan

Published:Monday | January 30, 2023 | 8:12 AM
Security officials and rescue workers search bodies at the site of a suicide bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday, January 30, 2023. A suicide bomber struck Monday inside a mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing multiple people and wounding scores of worshippers, officials said. (AP Photo/Zubair Khan)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide bomber detonated explosives during crowded prayers at a mosque inside a police compound in Pakistan on Monday, causing the roof to cave in.

At least 34 people were killed and 150 wounded, officials said.

Most of the casualties were police officers.

It was not clear how the bomber was able to slip into the walled compound, which houses the northwestern city of Peshawar's police headquarters and is itself located in a high-security zone with other government buildings.

Sarbakaf Mohmand, a commander for the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter.

The main spokesman for the militant group was not immediately available for comment.

Pakistan has seen a surge in militant attacks since November when the Pakistani Taliban ended their cease-fire with government forces.

This was one of the deadliest attacks on security forces in recent years.

More than 300 worshippers were praying inside the mosque, with more approaching, when the bomber set off his explosives vest. Many were injured when the roof came down, according to Zafar Khan, a local police officer.

Rescuers scrambled to remove mounds of debris from the mosque grounds to reach worshippers still trapped under the rubble, police said.

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