‘Terrorism continues to remain our foremost national challenge’

‘Terrorism continues to remain our foremost national challenge’

‘Terrorism continues to remain our foremost national challenge’

At least 30 people lost their lives and dozens of others wounded in a massive blast at a mosque in Peshawar on Friday. Image: File

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Condemnations pour in after at least 30 people lost their lives and dozens of others wounded in a massive blast at a mosque in Peshawar on Friday.

The blast in the Kocha Risaldar area of Peshawar happened moments before Friday prayers, witnesses said.

“I saw a man firing at two policemen before he entered the mosque. Seconds later, I heard a big bang,” said Zahid Khan.

Read more: At least 30 martyred, 50 injured in Peshawar mosque blast

It comes on the first day of a cricket Test match in Rawalpindi between Pakistan and Australia, who haven’t toured the country in nearly a quarter of a century because of security concerns.

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Muhammad Asim Khan, a spokesperson for Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, confirmed the death toll of 30 and said hospitals had declared an emergency.

The explosion blew out the windows of nearby buildings, and frantic rescuers were seen ferrying the dead and wounded from the scene.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif sent prayers and condolences for the bereaved families and said, “Terrorism continues to remain our foremost national challenge.”

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Senator Sherry Rehman said, “An attack on people praying is an attack on the heart of all morality” and criticised the government for being “unable to deal with the danger of escalating terrorism in the region.”

“They have zero ability to convene parliamentary consensus on the path forward in times of peril for Pakistan. What did they do to the National Action Plan?”

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“Peshawar blast has links with a big conspiracy [against Pakistan]. We have fought such conspiracies in the past. Inshallah, [Gods willing] the enemies of Pakistan will still fail,” said Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry.

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Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar said, “Targeting unarmed worshipers during Friday prayers in Peshawar is the worst example of enemy cowardice and brutality.”

“As in the past, these enemies of peace in Pakistan will be eradicated and justice will be done to the martyrs of Peshawar.”

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