A suicide blast at a mosque inside a Pakistan police headquarters was a targeted revenge attack, a police chief said Tuesday, as rescue efforts ended with the death toll standing at 100.
Between 300 and 400 policemen had gathered for afternoon prayers at the compound's mosque on Monday in the provincial capital Peshawar when an entire wall and most of the roof were blown out, showering rubble on officers.
Low-level militancy, often targeting security checkpoints, has been steadily rising in the areas near Peshawar that border Afghanistan since the Taliban seized control of Kabul in August 2021.
The attack happened Monday during afternoon worship in the provincial capital of Peshawar, close to areas along the Afghan border where militancy has been steadily rising.
Overnight, at least nine bodies were recovered as rescuers sifted through the rubble of the mosque's collapsed wall and roof.
Quoting Bilal Ahmad Faizi, a spokesperson for the rescue organisation 1122, news agency AFP reported "this morning we are going to remove the last part of the collapsed roof so we can recover more bodies, but we are not hopeful of reaching any survivors". Muhammad Asim Khan, a spokesman for the main hospital in Peshawar said that 83 people had been killed, with the death count rising as more bodies arrived from the scene.