KEY POINTS

  • More than 1,000 students are enrolled in the school
  • Government and political leaders condemned the attack
  • There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast

At least seven people have died and more than 50 injured in an explosion at a religious school in Pakistan on Tuesday, BBC reported. The attack took place in a religious school (Madrassa) in the Northern city of Peshawar, around 100 miles from Islamabad.

Those killed in the attack were aged between 20 and 30, hospital authorities confirmed. Dozens of others were injured, including four under the age of 13.

 Waqar Azeem, Superintendent of  Police, City of Peshawar, told The Express Tribune that an unidentified man entered the Madrassa around 8am and left a suspicious school bag in the premises. He added that the bag possibly contained an IED device, which exploded when the students started filling in the school.

Shafqat Malik, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), reported that five kilograms of explosives were used for the blast.

Government and political leaders condemned the blast. Pakistan President Arif Alvi offered his condolences to the family members of the martyrs and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. “May Allah Almighty grant patience to the bereaved families and raise the ranks of martyrs,” he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his grief and strongly condemned the blast.                                                                               

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he is heartbroken over the death and injury of several children.

“Those behind the attack on students have nothing to do with humanity. The sordid designs of those trying to stoke instability in the country will be foiled," said Shibli Faraz.

Safiullah Khan, a teacher at the school, told AFP that there are more than 1,000 students currently enrolled at the Madrasa. The school is roughly divided into two sections, with one for students aged 18 and older and the other for children."The blast took place in the section where students above the age of 18 were taking a class," Khan said, adding that the wall between the two sections collapsed in the blast.

The explosion took place when the religious teacher was taking a lesson in Koran. The detonation wrecked the school's interior and damaged the roof of the main hall. The sound of the loud blast could be heard across most parts of Peshawar. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. The blast follows months of relative calm in Pakistan.